Help Needed to Meet Georgia’s Laudable Child Care Goals

Georgia’s plan to expand access to quality child care for families earning low incomes became effective this June, but the state budget that takes effect this month is $103 million short of what’s needed to implement the plan. A proposal approved by federal regulators includes increased income eligibility limits, lowered family co-payments and higher payments to child care providers. Georgia officials will need to increase the total allocation for the program by $103 million to avoid shrinking the enrollment reach of the program by 17,000 children. To do that, state officials will need to find the additional money in the state budget, shift money from another federal program designed to help low-income families or some mix of both.

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