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Miss. eChildcare to Expand: Aimed to Reduce Costs, Increase Integrity

JACKSON, Miss.–The Mississippi Department of Human Resources announced that their pilot program, MS eChildcare, is set to expand in the fall of 2013 statewide.

This is an electronic program that all parents that receive a subsidy from the government to pay for childcare during the day would have to start using to check their children in and out of care each day.

“It has been holding my parents accountable, so far I have no had any problems,” said Lynn Black who runs Little Leap Academy in Tupelo.  Black has been on the pilot program since November 2012 using the fingerprint scanner to check kids in and out.

But not all childcare providers are happy when it comes to the electronic system that will start being implemented state wide October 1.

“Whether the kids come or not, we are [normally] to be paid regardless,” said Lutaya Stewart who owns a Jackson daycare. “With this, they are trying to justify not paying us for the days the kids are absent.”

This could potentially now cut into the pocket books of some providers if there is habitual absences but the state said this will hold parents accountable to have their kids in the care they’re supposed to be receiving.

“They will scan their finger image and check the child in and then they’ll check the child out,” said Dr. Jill Dent who is the director of early childhood care and development for the state.

Dent said up to five people can be on each child’s permitted contact list on the machine, and the cost of each machine is free to the daycare center.

For parents who wish to continue to use their certificates from the state, they have until August 30 to register at their local MDHS county offices.

Childcare providers have until August 31 to complete and return the state contract to MDHS and more information can be found at www.childcareinfo.ms

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