Sen. Moore Gets First-Hand Look At Child Care Costs

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A student at KinderCare in Shrewsbury cleans up after paint time. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck
Aislyn Silva gives state Sen. Michael Moore a fresh-baked brownie at KinderCare in Shrewsbury. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck
State Sen. Michael Moore models a hat made for him by KinderCare students. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck

SHREWSBURY, Mass. — As the state looks at making cuts to municipalities and schools, KinderCare in Shrewsbury invited state Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) to the center Tuesday morning to meet the center's children and to ask that state funding for child care subsidies remains intact. 

A total of 40 percent of the kids from Central Massachusetts enrolled at the Shrewsbury center rely on subsidies or state vouchers to offset the higher-than-average tuition, said Jaime Shepard, director of the Shrewsbury KinderCare center.

“We do have a lot of children here on subsidy, and that seems to be one of the things that gets cut — the subsidies for the kids who can't afford the care,” Shepard said.

In the push for education funding, infants to prekindergartners are often overlooked, Shepard said. “And that's where the importance is,” she said. “We're building a foundation and base-knowledge. … When they're sitting at home, watching TV, they're not getting the same experience as being in a classroom.”

Cuts to vouchers have not been discussed at the state house, Moore said. “We're looking at all the options being presented to us right now,” he said. “We're hoping the revenue is going to start to come in again.”

The economy seemed to be moving ahead, but over the past few months, the state has not met certain benchmarks for raising revenue, Moore said. “We're going to try to protect what we can, as far as education services, such as local aid. … Right now, it's hard to say what's going to be on the table.”

The for-profit KinderCare, owned by the Knowledge Universe Corp., is one of the largest of its kind and operates 1,700 centers. The Shrewsbury center is licensed to serve up to 161 children.

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Comments (8)

bglebeau:

I am concerned about the information which was left out of this article. Last year our legislature passed a bill requiring all day care providers and employees where a child is on a state voucher to become unionized, subject to dues withholding. This was done without providing any bargaining rights to any of those affected. One big problem with that law; it exempted larger companies like KinderCare. Now, after a few months of its implementation, many of the parents with kids on vouchers, are being asked to leave the smaller providers due to the cost to those businesses of the recent law, and are going to KinderCare and other larger providers. It represents quite a windfall for the bigger companies. Suddenly KinderCare has become the greatest proponent of the voucher program because if it is cut, many of those new children will return to their previous providers. I wonder how many legislators were lobbied by KinderCare in the first place to get that unionization law passed? By the way, all licensed providers are subject to the same oversight in Massachusetts so the argument that KinderCare is better than your neighbor does not hold true. With the new fingerprint law, your fears should be eased even more. It's not about what's best for the kids. It looks to me it's all about what's best for the wallets of teh law makers and the KinderCare big wigs.

Leicester citizen:

This had NOTHING to do with chlidren's safety! Get your blinders off!

Liberal:

Yeah, I get it, Liberals and Unions are to blame for everything. Since no central home day care organization exists, what was the legislature supposed to do? Make them join the Heritage Foundation or maybe the NRA? You've got a very narrow minded view of things. And no concern for children's safety. Where did you get that? Listening to Rush Limbaugh?

Liberal:

Yes Leicester citizen, and the just months later you have this:

John Burbine of Wakefield, MA, worked as a childcare provider and tutor but the problem is, he wasn't fully licensed to run a childcare program. Oh, and he was a raping and abusing dozens of children, including toddlers and even newborns. Like, eight days old newborns.

It's alleged that he and his wife, Marian Burbine, 46, ran Waterfall's Education Center, a nanny and tutoring service, out of a Wakefield building, until it was closed in August for the not fully licensed thing.

So go ahead Leicester citizen blame Liberals for protecting our children. Jack A$$!

Leicester citizen:

Our liberal leaders passed a bill last year to force all small daycare workers to join a union with NO union benifits. I don't think working families should have to pay more for daycare to offset this slap in the face!

miller_robbin:

Policy makers need to understand that cutting child care subsidies will only lead to more parents relying on the Department of Social Services to pay for their childcare. Unfortunately, some parents have to ask for voluntarily services to get the state to pay for their child's daycare as they are considered at risk families as their vouchers have been cut in the past. It is interesting to note how some countries in Europe such as Italy that charges families $ 300.00 a year to put their children in daycare starting at the age of three years old. Studies have proved that children enrolled in daycare at an early age are ready to go to school starting in kindergarten.

CharlotteJay:

"Studies have proved that children enrolled in daycare at an early age are ready to go to school starting in kindergarten."

This is a pretty bold statement, I have met many kids that have been in daycare and are definitely NOT ready to go to Kindergarten. I chose to SAHM because of financial reasons, and my child was 110% ready for school when the time came.

In regards to the article, if subsidies are cut for those who need them, it's going to put strain back in the system somewhere. I think it's hard to find balance between what you do and do not cut.

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