Child care help available for struggling families in Cameron County

1 year 9 months 1 week ago Tuesday, February 22 2022 Feb 22, 2022 February 22, 2022 6:48 AM February 22, 2022 in News - Local

Officials at a day care center in Harlingen say they are seeing more families not being able to afford day care.

Magic Kingdom Learning Center in Harlingen say they’re trying not to turn families away.

“If they need the help, we try our best to either give them a small fee to pay, or call the Workforce and try to get them a little bit expedited, get them off the waiting list,” said Magic Kingdom Learning Center Director Crystal Ledesma.

Workforce Solutions Cameron is dealing with a waitlist at the moment for their child care services. Ledesma says that some parents who are working just aren’t making enough.

“Basically you're paying the day care— you’re working just to pay day care,” Ledesma said.

“We’ve had parents come in here literally in tears [saying], ‘If I don’t do something, I can’t pay for two I’m paying for one. If I don’t do something I’m going to get fired tomorrow,’” said owner Diane Nichols.

Nichols says she is either allowing some parents to pay what they can, or offering some free services to others. She says it’s hard to say no to families that need help.

“The kids are our passion and when families are in need and disadvantaged, that why we’re here," Nichols said. "To help them.”

Workforce Solutions Cameron is currently running a program that can help parents who work in the arts and entertainment, retail or food services industry. Parents who qualify may receive up to 12 months of child care and will not be required to pay a parent share of cost, according to Workforce Solutions Cameron's website.

The last day to apply for the program is March 15. 

For more information, click here

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