Finding Affordable Summer Child Care can be Difficult

Finding Affordable Summer Child Care can be Difficult
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(File) Children playing at a Child Development Center
US Department of Defense

For some parents in Mississippi, finding an affordable place to send their children during the summer can be difficult. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.

Advocates for affordable child care in Mississippi say paying for services can take a huge portion of a low-income mother's wages if she's going to have to pay for it alone. Carol Burnett is executive director of the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative. She says mothers might have to make hard decisions because they can't afford the help that they need.

"Sometimes it means choosing not to pay some other important family bill or in some cases it means choosing not to work because the mom simply can't afford the cost of child care," said Burnett.

Burnett says parents in need of child care assistance can apply for the Child Care Payment Program through the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

These days single parents have a hard time trying to afford daycare says Porchia Amiker. She is the owner of Big Minds, Little Hearts in South Jackson. The child care center offers a camp during the duration of the summer for children between the ages of four and 12 years old at $50 per week. Amiker says she accepts vouchers from the Child Care Payment Program for both the summer camp and throughout the school year.

"We try to help parents who are in school or that's working and not able to pay a high expensive tuition while they're trying to reach their goal," said Amiker. "So we try to reach out to those who really need the service and try to help them the best way possible."

Burnett says there are up to 20,000 Mississippians enrolled in the Child Care Payment Program.