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      Day care centers rally the troops to stay open without funding

      Area day care providers and residents will meet Wednesday to brainstorm what to do over state funding cutbacks for child care providers.

      Area day care providers and residents met Wednesday evening to brainstorm ideas for fundraisers.

      Last week providers received letters and emails from the Illinois Department of Human Services informing them that they were out of money to subsidize day care costs. This would mean day cares would not be paid until the next fiscal year that begins in July.

      Cheryl Clayton of Clayton's Day Care in Quincy helped organize the meeting at One Child to the Next store at 2028 Broadway in the hopes of bringing the community together for fundraising efforts to make up for the state funding delays.

      In the contract for patrons of Clayton's Day Care, parents are responsible to cover the cost difference if the state does not pay. Clayton says many families could not afford that cost, and she is concerned that children would not get the proper care.

      Small home day care providers like Shelly Collins would see devastating consequences. Collins has seven children in her home day care, which serves as her sole source of income. All seven of those children receive state subsidized care, and without state reimbursements she could be out around $4,000 a month.

      "These children aren't going to have anywhere. Are they going to be left home alone? Are teenagers going to watch them? They won't get the education that they need," Collins said.

      The Department of Human Services has requested additional funding from the General Assembly. A House bill has been introduced that would help continue funding.

      Are you being directly affected by the cutbacks in funding? Share your story below or on our Facebook page here .