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Oklahoma Department of Human Services Cuts Budget by 30 Million - KOAM TV 7

Oklahoma Department of Human Services Cuts Budget by 30 Million Dollars

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COMMERCE, OKLAHOMA -

It's playtime at Jelly Bean Kids Childcare in Commerce, Oklahoma.
As the kids are digging in the dirt and flying on the swings, it becomes harder and harder for their parents to send them to a licensed daycare like this one.

"It's a trickle down really. Whenever you've got cuts a state funded department, you've got families who can't afford to pay daycare and work at the same time" says director, Jennifer Trease.

The alternative options to a licensed daycare might not be as safe.

She says, "a lot of people get desperate to have to go to work. So they just leave them with a next door neighbor. And maybe that next door neighbor isn't as trusting as they thought"

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services makes these cuts with a heavy heart

"These budget cuts are not things we wanted to do. They are the last thing we wanted to do. But unfortunately after several years of reduced revenue and increasing program costs, and trying to fulfill those costs with one time funds, our costs just caught up with us" says Shree Powell from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

"Current parents are not going to lose their daycare benefits. But new parents who come into jobs...during that time are going to get any assistance, so that will affect us" says the daycare director.

The choice of cuts was a bummer for Jennifer, but something she's working with.

"Programs that help so many kids throughout the state gets hit the hardest"

The childcare freeze will begin on October 1st. The OKDHS recommends that families already receiving financial aid for childcare to renew their papers before the freeze.

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