Parents concerned about child care center closures

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Associated Press

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 2:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A child care advocacy organization says it has received "many, many calls" from parents concerned about the possible closure of 18 child care centers in Louisville.

Community Coordinated Child Care Director Susan Vessels told The Courier-Journal (cjky.it/YN3BUX) that she applauds the state for taking action, but questioned the method of serving so many centers at one time "SWAT-team style."

"The way it was done really does leave parents and kids in the lurch," said Vessels, whose agency known as 4C offers to help parents search for child care centers.

Officials with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services cited allegations of fraud after in letters on Wednesday ordering the centers to close.

Cabinet officials said the actions stemmed from a yearlong investigation, but declined to discuss details. It was unclear how many children would be affected.

The centers have 20 days to appeal. If no appeal is filed, the revocations become final.

Meanwhile, the cabinet has begun withholding from the centers Child Care Assistance payments, which helps low-income parents pay for child care.

Cabinet Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes says officials want to assure that the limited funding available goes to those who need it and qualify for it.

"As stewards of the taxpayers' dollars, it is also the cabinet's responsibility to find, investigate and end any fraudulent activities in the programs the cabinet administers," Haynes said.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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