In today’s Globe, Stephanie Ebbert tells the kind of story we will read more and more until 2019. The people who provide childcare are absolutely essential to our economy because they let parents work without worrying about their kids. And these childcare providers are getting royally messed up by Governor Baker’s fix it scheme.
One child care provider estimates the state Department of Early Education and Care owes him $15,000 in unpaid bills. Another fears the department is going to ask him to pay back $80,000.
Day care center directors all across Massachusetts are scheduling one-on-one meetings with department officials to hash out unpaid and disputed bills from the past year.
The reason? The new technology the state launched last July to modernize its reporting and billing of day care subsidies still can’t handle the bills.
Why did this modernization of billing and reporting mess up?
Charlie Baker’s stunt of granting early retirement to get thousands of state workers off the payroll. The people in state government with the valuable knowledge of who was in the system and how the system worked were induced to retire early, thus taking the institutional knowledge away right at the time that knowledge was needed for the new system. Did Gov. Baker save the budget? Noooo…
The Globe learned, however, that the retirees included at least two senior officials integrally involved with the technology and three more employees who worked on the help desk for the new system. Two of the help desk retirees wrote the user guide for the Child Care Financial Assistance system, and the third was the help desk director. Those three were hired back after the faulty launch to help with calls from frustrated day care providers, the Globe learned.
Yes, Gov. Baker decided to put these employees on retirement, then he had to re-hire them because the job still needed to be done. In his desire to cut spending, he ended up creating even more waste.
Read the whole article. Take special care to read to the end where we see the new computer system can not account for how parents might have to send their children to one childcare place in the morning and another in the afternoon. Plenty of parents need to do that, but the system refuses to pay for it.
There are thousands upon thousands of parents in the Commonwealth who need good, affordable childcare. We could provide that, putting parents’ minds at ease, making families lives’ better… if our Governor had the vision for it.
We will see this again and again because as long as our Governor believes “we have a spending problem,” the Commonwealth will be neglecting the basic needs of our citizens: childcare, early education, K-12, public universities, transportation, mental health, and protecting the environment.
Because the Commonwealth has grown and is growing, we have a revenue problem, but our Governor has a lack of vision problem. He can not see how the Commonwealth is growing and will grow in the future. He is not taking care of the present, and therefore is undercutting our future.