Change in Child Care Fees

Montgomery, Ala. (WSFA) --  The ripple effect of the slow economy is hitting families throughout Alabama, this time in the form of child care fees.

The Department of Human Resources is making changes which will result in higher fees for low income families.

Tough economic times across the country are causing many to change they way they spend their money.

With prices going up across the board, the Department of Human Resources is taking steps to make sure everyone receives their services.

To ensure this for their child care subsidy program, DHR is changing parental fees.

"For the last five or six years we have given parents a discount," said Debbie Thomas, director of the Child Care Division.

On August 4th, parents who have more than one child receiving subsidized child care will have to pay the full fee for all of their children.

"They will pay the full co-pay or parental fee for each child based on the parents income," explained Thomas.

Previously parents paid the full price for the first child in child care, while receiving discounts on each additional child.

Officials say this was a way to help families who had to provide for more than one kid.

Now those parents will have to pay the full price for each child in the program.

Thomas says these changes allow them to continue to support as many low income families as they can.

"We hope that when times are better we can go back and do some of the things that we've done in the past when there was not a shortage of funds," says Thomas.

Officials say they wanted to take action now, to prevent a worse problem in the next fiscal year.

Also, they want to continue to help as many families as they can in the state.

During the month of May, DHR spent $8.5 million serving some 33,000 children.

Reporter: Daniel Curtis