Day care centers in Illinois are on the verge of collapse because the state can't pay its bills.
The state's child care assistance program said lawmakers didn't provide the money. Without it, day cares will have to close.
At Learners Fly Childcare in Morgan Park, the state pays almost the entire cost of day care for parents who qualify. If it cancels the program for budget reasons, parents who can't afford to pay will have to find an alternative.
Victoria Williams has run her home day care business since 2004, employing three staffers who care for 17 children, ranging in age from infants to 12 years.
She offers free pickup and drop-off service, along with after school tutoring.
The Illinois Department of Human Services sent day care centers an email Wednesday stating that funds for child care will fun out June 30 and current payments will be late.
The agency says it may not change until July, even though it has asked the state Legislature for more money.
If daycare centers like Learners close, that means working parents and students who are parents won't have a facility to place their children.
Bonnie Bracket of Heartland Kids Early Learning Center in Marion said the state's subsidy covers 40 percent of her revenues. Not getting that funding could force her to borrow money or lay off some workers.
Williams is letting parents know about the funding situation. She's urging them to call Gov. Pat Quinn and their legislators. She's heard the cry of budget deficit before and feels this time, it's for real.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)