DHS helps Arkansas child care centers stay open

KNWA

"We wondered if we're making things worse by staying open, but after hearing what was said today, now I feel good," Elaine Mills said.

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Human Services is helping parents to provide for their families by helping child care centers stay open.

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on March 18, 800 daycare facilities are closed in Arkansas — 12,000 remain open.

KNWA/KFTA spoke with a daycare owner who said they will stay open as long as possible, especially with the state’s help.

Arkansas DHS Director Cindy Gillespie said in a press conference that they will reimburse every day:

  • $10 for babies and toddlers
  • $7 for preschoolers
  • $5 for school-aged children

If you have kids on a daycare voucher, she said they will suspend renewal for 30 days so no one will lose access.

DHS will also allow daycares to have more kids in the same room and will be able to mix children ages 5-12.

“What we would like them to do is hire other daycare workers from the ones that are closed but if they need to run a background check we can do expedited background checks,” Gillespie said. “If they go to one of 17 sites where we have live scans, we can do a background check on the same day.”

We wondered if we’re making things worse by staying open, but after hearing what was said today, now I feel good.

ELAINE MILLS, OWNER, KIRSTY’S PLACE WEST

Elaine Mills, the owner of Kirsty’s Place West, said it makes all the difference and hopes people will take advantage of these services because they are here to help.

She said as far as safety concerns about more kids under their care, she’s confident employees will have it under control.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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