The Kentucky House is backing a significant expansion of the early child care provider rating system. It will mean hundreds more child care centers will be able to tap into the “Star Rating” program offered by the state. The expansion will necessitate training paid for by federal dollars through the “Race to the Top” grant program.
One of those supporting the measure is Louisville Representative Joni Jenkins. Jenkins works at a community college and sees many young people involved in remedial programs.
“I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it is to work with students who will be in developmental math four and five semesters and I know that’s because they didn’t get what they needed at a very early age,” said Jenkins.
While the bill passed the House 77 to 13, there were a number of lawmakers who expressed concern about paying for the training long term. Bowling Green Representative Jim DeCesare says he supports boosting pre-school education for children, but still wonders about the cost.
“That doesn’t mean that I can’t ask the question where is the money gonna come from after the grant runs out," said DeCesare. "Who’s gonna pay for it?”
Representative Jimmy Lee, who chairs the budget subcommittee on human services, says if it’s found to be beneficial, it might be something the state would pick up and pay for. The issue now goes to the Senate.