(WMC-TV) – Mississippi is on the verge of a daycare crisis. A group of daycare workers says centers across the state are closing because of cuts to a program that helps low income families.
The childcare assistance program allows parents to pay what they can, based on income.
However, daycare advocates say the department of human services made changes in 2011 that reduced the number of people who qualify.
The group says it's asking state leaders to not destroy a program that has been successful in moving parents from welfare to work.
Carol Burnett, with the Mississippi Low Income Child Initiative, says part of the problem is the program's funding – or lack thereof.
"The problem is the program is so inadequately funded that it's serving only a small percent of the families that qualify. And we currently have over 13,000 children on the waiting list."
The Department of Human Services says because of the changes to the program, more than 1,000 children were added since January.
More than 1,900 children are currently enrolled.