Legislators weigh in on childcare battle - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Legislators weigh in on childcare battle

Kahului resident Daisy Butay Kahului resident Daisy Butay
State Department of Human Services director Lillian Koller State Department of Human Services director Lillian Koller

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The childcare subsidy program battle continues and now state legislators are weighing in.

Senate and House Human Services Committees held a briefing on the proposed cuts to thousands of families with pre-schoolers.

They're asking the state to delay the plan until at least may, 2012 so they can discuss all of the options.

If the rule changes take effect, many families can expect to pay as much as five times more in tuition.

"I'm already struggling as a single parent to make ends meet and requiring me to play hundreds more per month will be a big burden to my family," Kahului resident Daisy Butay said.

Under the new system, there would be ten gradual income steps, not just three.

The neediest families would continue getting 100 percent subsidies, while other families would get subsidies ranging from 90 to 10 percent as their income rises.

DHS wants to implement these changes on January 1st.

"The problem is that $66-million is being used faster than anticipated because of a sharp increase of families applying for assistance and higher rates charged by childcare providers," State Department of Human Services director Lillian Koller said.

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