NC response to federal shutdown affects child care

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 01:30 PM

North Carolina's response to the federal government shutdown also has affected the ability of counties to continue offering child care subsidies to low-income families.

The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that without authorized federal block grant and child care money it decided to use leftover funds to ensure the most at-risk children get subsidies through December. But the agency said at least 36 counties have scaled back subsidies or are considering doing so given limited funds they now have.

The situation may soon be alleviated for 72,000 children who benefit from this subsidy statewide. U.S. Senate leaders announced a deal Wednesday to end the shutdown. DHHS spokeswoman Julie Henry says the big question of any deal would be how long before federal dollars are flowing again.