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July 6, 2010 > State Budget forces Kidango changes

State Budget forces Kidango changes

Submitted By Camille Llanes-Fontanilla

Kidango, a local children's charity providing quality child care, early education, mental health and early intervention services to over 2,500 Bay Area families, announced today that it can no longer sustain two of its infant and toddler classrooms in Fremont, and one in Livermore. Additionally, its infant and toddler program in Newark will be downsizing from 28 to 8 children.

After careful analysis, Kidango determined that it will be unable to operate these programs without significant financial loss. An in-depth analysis of their finances confirms some inevitable facts: the cost of providing quality infant and toddler care exceeds the agency's ability to continue to support many of these programs. The unreasonably low reimbursement rate provided by the State for subsidized care, combined with the high cost of compensating the staff and the mandates required by the State to meet required staff to child ratios are contributing factors preventing more financially stable programs.

The changes will take place in late July/early August, and Kidango recognizes that the closures will result in inconvenience and difficulty for families. Any displaced families will be offered available openings at other nearby Kidango locations, according to the guidelines set forth by Kidango's funding terms and conditions as required by the State of California.

In addition, the State Budget for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 has yet to be passed. For this reason, Kidango also announced that it will be unable to reimburse its 22 family child care providers in Santa Clara County for their service until a budget is passed. Many of the family child care providers within Kidango's Community Family Services network rely heavily on Kidango's contracts, and without payment they may have to suspend services to children and families.

The State Budget stalemate and proposed budget cuts in the Governor's May revision are greatly impacting Kidango and many other organizations across the State. Kidango continues to advocate for its State funded child care and early education programs, as any additional budget cuts will further impact their ability to serve families throughout the Bay Area. Kidango programs not only provide children with the strong foundation they need to succeed in school and in the future, but are essential to the livelihoods of Bay Area families, and therefore the California economy.

Kidango encourages its families, staff, and the community to voice their concerns to their representatives and share the importance of these critical programs. For more information about Kidango or its advocacy efforts, please contact Camille Llanes-Fontanilla at (510) 897-6912 or cllanes@kidango.org, or visit www.kidango.org.

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