BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - More and more North Carolina families are turning to their county to help pay for day care.
For one woman, Bladen County's program was her life-line until the county made a mistake that cost her the child care.
"It's like a kick in the face, to knock us back down, to get back on this and start all over," said Latoya Anderson.
Anderson waited on the county's child care subsidy program list for seven months. She qualified after officials confirmed her home was located on Old Boardman Road, inside Bladen County lines.
From July to October, Anderson's children had after school care and she was saving thousands of dollars.
Then Bladen County took another look at the map and saw their mistake - Anderson's address is also found in Columbus County.
Bladen County put a stop to Anderson's subsidy since it was actually Columbus County who should be paying the tab.
"Yes they did make a mistake but it was human error and it was not made on purpose," said NC Child Daycare Program Manager Fay Lewis. "It was certainly to try and provide her child care services thinking that she was a resident of Bladen County. I would hope that she would take into consideration services had to end based on policies."
Anderson is also asking for some consideration.
"No I'm not gonna understand," said Anderson. "'Cause I can't understand having to tell my children, 'No you cant go to daycare, or no we're lacking for this, or the lights are out because now I have to make up for an $1,000 daycare fee that once was being paid for.'"
Bladen County said they'd continue paying her child care until the end of the year, but she would also have to pay back an estimated $1,600 in care given to her while the state made a final decision.
State officials told WECT that the repayment wasn't necessary, but they haven't yet told Anderson.
Now, she's back on a very long waiting list, but this time in Columbus County.
"243 people and I am number a 106 since October of last year, and I have not moved since this whole thing started," said Anderson.
Her number won't likely be called soon.
"There's no funding available in Columbus," said Lewis. "Funding does not meet the current demand for child care assistance across the state of North Carolina. The other 27,000 children awaiting services are in the same predicament."
Anderson's appeals to both the county and the state have been denied, but she has promised to continue her fight.
The state is hoping for stimulus funds to get the wait list moving.
If you are in need of child care assistance here are some options:
- Head Start is a resource for preschool age children and school age children that charge little or no fee for care. To find a provider in your area, click here.
- Contact your county's department of social services to find out which specific types of assistance they offer by searching here.
- You can search for more specific county information by going to: www.ncchildcare.net
From the Home page of the web site, choose the Parents tab, from that point select Parent Resources tab and follow Steps 1-3 for contact information.
- Put your name on your county's wait list. If you wait till the last minute you will be on the wait list for quite some time.
There is currently no funding available in Bladen and Columbus Counties, so here are some options specifically for those areas:
Mt. Olive Head Start Program - Whiteville
Contact: Jackie Baldwin, Intake Worker
Specific documentation required
Available slots for 3-year-olds
After School Programs
S.O.S. (Support Our Students)
Tabor City Elementary School
Contact: Debra Hammond, Principal
Telephone number during school hours: 910-653-3618
SOS Telephone Number: 910-653-9277 (call during after school hours)
The Dream Center CDC
S Martin Luther King Jr Avenue
2 Sites: Whiteville and Fair Bluff
Contact Evelyn Troy
Provides tutorial and other services
Tabor City Middle School
Contact: Kent Lovett, Principal
Bolton Youth Center -