Funding shortage could force child care cutbacks

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CHICAGO -- A lack of state dollars for child care centers is starting to hit home. The state says the budget for this year is already gone and federal aid may not be enough to keep some child care centers in the state running.

Imani Children's Academy, 11443 South Halsted Street, has been in the Roseland neighborhood for about 20 years. There are about 10 teachers for about 35 students but that may change on Friday.

The owner and director of Imani Children's Academy, Marianne Powell, led parents, students and teachers in a rally for support outside the school this morning.

She says if state and federal aid isn't replenished she will not be able to make her payroll.  That means in the best case they will have to cut hours, and in the worst case children would have to find a new place to learn.

"We are in the Roseland community and a lot of our parents don't have the means or the funds to pay weekly tuition," Powell told WGN.

The school is expecting some federal aid on March 15, but that's too late to make payroll.  And on top of that, the director is not sure how much money would come in.

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