The good news for Child Care Associates, a major Tarrant County Head Start provider that serves 10,000 low-income kids, is that Congress seems to be inching toward a last-minute deal to avert a default on the federal debt and end the government shutdown.
If that doesn't happen, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday, CCA will lose $21 million in Head Start funds, or about a third of its annual budget, on November 1 and be forced to lay off most of its 625 workers. It notified the state of the potential layoffs this week.
That would leave some 2,800 children in Tarrant County without childcare. According to The Dallas Morning News, another 6,400 low-income kids are cared for using some $35 million in federal block grants, which are set to expire on November 30 if Congress doesn't fund the government.
The silver lining is that if the shutdown hasn't ended by tomorrow, the debt ceiling won't have been raised either, meaning the U.S. will begin to default on its debts. The ensuing economic collapse would make low-cost child care obsolete as the country spiraled toward a lawless, post-apocalyptic free-for-all.