On most days, Samantha Baldwin picks up her one year-old boy Jaron from Valley Interfaith Child Care Center in Blacksburg. It is a place she simply could not do without, and keep a full time job.
"It actually provides me a sense of accomplishment and a sense of well being because I'm able to work and provide for my family without having to worry that my child is not being taken care of properly," said Baldwin
Valley Interfaith, a non-profit, low-income facility, receives about $10,000 to $13,000 a month in federal funding to help parents pay for child care. But with automatic spending cuts looming in Washington, a portion of that money is in jeopardy, which according to leaders at the day care center, also has a negative effect on the economy
"Dads and moms need to go to work, and they can't if they don't have childcare that they feel good about and the places that they work need them there, or the job doesn't get done there," said Cathy Jacobs, with Valley Interfaith Child Care Center.
The waiting list is about 20 families long and leaders at the center fear with expected cuts, not only will this list grow, but the people on it, will have to wait longer for federal assistance.
"The only word I can think of is devastating, to be on the waiting list that long. I was placed on the waiting list when my child was two weeks old, we were able to get assistance when he was 10 months old," said Baldwin.
Some children are paid for with private donations or scholarships, but it is only with the expectation of federal funds becoming available. If an agreement is not reached in Washngton to avoid automatic cuts, the assistance for many families, may soon be harder to receive.