More problems with Class A daycare providers

By Tracy Clemons – bio|e-mail

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA)- A group of day care providers in Shreveport says they may have to shut their doors in the next couple of months, and they're blaming the TOTS program.  It's a tool that the state implemented that is supposed to make it easier for them to get paid.

"For the full month of August, I have not received all my funds, so we're running two months behind on payments," says Willie Guiden.

Guiden owns Unity Day Care.  He says the state is dropping the ball on paying him, and other providers who participate in TOTS (Tracking of Time Services).

"We have only received one fourth of the money that we used to receive before they went to TOTS," Guiden says.

Trey Williams, the Director of Communications for the Department of Children and Family Services says that's not quite accurate.

"For the month of September, Unity Child Care did receive more money than it received in May 2010, before TOTS was implemented," he says.

Williams says the DCFS has taken big steps to rectify any problems providers had with TOTS in the beginning: "If we could tell that people have tried to scan the finger image in for the month of August or September, if we can see that there was an attempt there, we went ahead and paid that money."

Guiden isn't the only one who says he's having problems.  Dorothy Durley, owner of Precious Lambs Learning Academy, says the state is behind in payments, and she's been getting less money.  She's worried that the trouble she says she's having getting paid from the state could force her to shut down.

"I give myself two months, if that, and the doors will be locked."

Willie Guiden will lead a group of day care providers to Baton Rouge Monday.  They had a meeting planned for Friday evening to discuss what they plan to say when they plead their case to the state.

"I will be asking the Governor to go back to the regular paper until he gets all the bugs worked out.

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