McAllen daycare budget cut due to government shutdown

    (Source: KGBT Photo)

    **Editors note: This story has been updated to show that the daycare provides four meals a day, instead of five as originally reported.**

    Monday is Day 31 of the government shutdown. There are 800,000 federal employees not getting paid because of it, but they are not the only ones affected by the shutdown.

    Local daycare's, like the McAllen Learning Center, are feeling the effects after they received a letter in the mail from the Texas Department of Agriculture.

    The letter signed by Angela Olige, Assistant Commissioner to Commissioner Sid Miller, said there are 11 federal programs, including WIC and the Emergency Food Assistance, that are being cut because of the government shutdown.

    "It was kind of concerning but we're kind of like okay, we need to get ready, think about it and see what we're gonna do," said Estela Flores, the director of the daycare.

    She said they receive hundreds of dollars from the program which they use to put food on the table, "The milk, the fruit, vegetables, the entire meal, everything."

    The letter says some of the 11 programs are ending as soon as February 15, meaning business owners must pay for the food out of pocket and may be reimbursed.

    "We would have to extend our money, into using it for other things like food and not what we normally use it for," said Flores.

    The letter says quote, "However, TDA cannot anticipate under what scenario funding may or may not be approved. Funding to support the administrative functions of the agency is a separate funding source."

    For now, Flores and the staff of McAllen Learning Center, say the children will continue to get their four meals a day as normal.

    "It does affect us, but we will provide for our students," said Flores.

    The team has not yet considered closing the daycare, but said if the shutdown continues for months, that may change.

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