SHREWSBURY, Mass. — As the state looks at making cuts to municipalities and schools, KinderCare in Shrewsbury invited state Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) to the center Tuesday morning to meet the center's children and to ask that state funding for child care subsidies remains intact.
A total of 40 percent of the kids from Central Massachusetts enrolled at the Shrewsbury center rely on subsidies or state vouchers to offset the higher-than-average tuition, said Jaime Shepard, director of the Shrewsbury KinderCare center.
“We do have a lot of children here on subsidy, and that seems to be one of the things that gets cut — the subsidies for the kids who can't afford the care,” Shepard said.
In the push for education funding, infants to prekindergartners are often overlooked, Shepard said. “And that's where the importance is,” she said. “We're building a foundation and base-knowledge. … When they're sitting at home, watching TV, they're not getting the same experience as being in a classroom.”
Cuts to vouchers have not been discussed at the state house, Moore said. “We're looking at all the options being presented to us right now,” he said. “We're hoping the revenue is going to start to come in again.”
The economy seemed to be moving ahead, but over the past few months, the state has not met certain benchmarks for raising revenue, Moore said. “We're going to try to protect what we can, as far as education services, such as local aid. … Right now, it's hard to say what's going to be on the table.”
The for-profit KinderCare, owned by the Knowledge Universe Corp., is one of the largest of its kind and operates 1,700 centers. The Shrewsbury center is licensed to serve up to 161 children.