Asheboro, NC - Hundreds of families may have to look elsewhere for assistance paying for their childcare.
Randolph County Department of Social Services expects to cut services to an estimated 600-kids because in their words they "overspent."
"We started off this year spending at a rate that was too high to sustain throughout the year so we are in a situation where we are going to have to reduce the spending level and in order to do that, we are going to have to probably reduce service to those who are receiving services," explains Richard Park, Business Officer, Randolph County DSS.
In a normal year, the county DSS maintains a waiting list because there just isn't enough money to help all the applicants but this year, they provided assistance to everyone who qualified just as long as the money didn't run out.
"We want first of all, we want to give them a heads up far enough in advance to where those parents with school-age children that are receiving this subsidy can make other arrangements, can find other, alternative means for care for their children," explains Park.
News 2 asked Park "what if they can't afford another mean? If there is no alternative for them? That's the reason they came to DSS. "We can't answer that. That's up for the parents to decide on how they're going to handle that situation," answered Park.
This childcare subsidy service works a lot like section 8 housing. Families pay a portion of the childcare fee and then DSS pays the rest.
To help the families survive, the directors of a majority of the childcare centers in Randolph county have decided they will take a cut in pay if it will help keep the kids from staying home alone.
"I'm not going to let any of my parents walk out of here and lose their childcare. I'm not going to worry about any of these children not having anywhere to go. I just won't allow that to happen," said Katherine Pace, Owner, Building Blocks for Tiny Tots.
"We would all reduce our rates and that would be more than 10% for some of us and about 10% for some and most of the centers were in agreement with that. At the meeting, they didn't feel like that would be enough," said Pat Woodall, childcare provider.
DSS has not made a final decision on how they're going to deal with this but Park said kids ages 6 to 12 will probably lose services first.
Park say changes go into effect December 1st.
WFMY News 2