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Slow payments hurting day care centers

6:28 PM, Feb 21, 2011   |    comments
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"I don't do it for the money," Asdahl said. "I do it because kids need a good start."

Denver County's Child Care Assistance Program, known as CCAP, helps low-income families pay for childcare. Under a new fully-automated system, parents swipe a card at their child care location and the county reimburses the day care.

It's supposed to be simple. Delays in the transition have left a huge backlog in day care payments.

On Monday, county workers were still working on some claims from December.

"We do know that this has been an incredibly difficult transition," Human Services Director of Communications Revekka Balancier said about the new payment method.

Asdahl says the money to keep running her business just ran out.

"The kids are the victims," Asdahl said. "Only because there aren't a lot of quality centers out there."

9NEWS called six Denver day care centers Monday. All told us they have waiting lists.

"We hate to see anybody close their doors due to this delay," Balancier said. "We are working as quickly as we can to make sure everybody is getting the correct payments as quickly as possible."

Two local day care centers, who asked not to be identified, told 9NEWS they are also having problems as a result of the late CCAP payments. One owner says she had to take out a loan to pay her employees.

Asdahl says the delayed payments took away a lifelong dream of owning a day care center. She said it also left dozens of parents with no place for their kids.

Denver Human Services did have people working over the Presidents Day holiday to catch up on those late payments.

For CCAP providers who need help with payment issues, please contact:
Denver Human Services
Child Care Assistance Program Business Office
Kenneth Ruterbories
720-944-2457

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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