November 23, 2012
Some Mississippi parents are learning a new routine when they drop their kids off at day care centers that are taking part in a new pilot program aimed at combating fraud and saving the state money.
Under the program, the state scans parents’ fingerprints to capture biometric information, and that information is turned into a number. Then, at a day care center, parents dropping off or picking up their kids put their fingers on a pad, and a small keyboard records the exact time a child is checked in or out.
But only the parents of kids who receive subsidized child care have to do the scans, and the program is roiling some parents and day care workers.
“The parents who have a subsidy have to come through and scan their finger at this machine, and the parents that aren’t on the subsidy program don’t have to do that,” Burnett says. “So you’ve got two lines of people who are obviously distinguished by who’s got the subsidy and who doesn’t.”