Kokomo Mayor Matt McKillip says he wants to make it clear that he has not proposed cutting the city’s Early Learning Center entirely, only that he wants the community to have a discussion about whether or not child care is a service municipal government should be providing.
He says most people he talks to don’t realize Kokomo has a day care center funded with tax revenue or don’t believe such a center should be paid for with taxpayer money. McKillip says his proposed 2008 budget, currently under review by the city council, does call for a cut in the center’s funding, a cut that the council has since rolled back in its budget hearings. McKillip says the city must look at pairing down the Early Learning Center incrementally, since rising costs in insurance and pension liabilities may make funding the center at all impossible in the future.
McKillip says child care is a service already provided in the private sector. As an alternative, he says he’s proposing the city consider offering vouchers to low-income families from federal community development grants to assist in child care costs.