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Moline Offers Loans for Child Care

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Hoping to get people back to work and boost the local economy, Moline wants to improve access to child care. Tuesday night the city council will consider using 500,000 dollars from its ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to offer forgivable loans.

Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati says the money could help agencies open or expand their child care programs, and encourage city residents to offer in-home care.

"Because we want as many people who can work to work, and we know that many of our industries need people to come back into the workforce. And we want to give people entrepreneurial opportunities as well."

She says last fall, city staff and local agencies came up with the proposal for forgivable loans based on the success of Moline's existing loan program for small businesses hurt by the pandemic.

"There was a pre-existing need prior to the pandemic, exacerbated by the pandemic, and we know that even in just the six months that I have been working on this with our staff that six Moline child care centers have closed."

Mayor Rayapati says the closing of those six centers has meant the loss of nearly 50 child care slots.

She hopes the forgivable loan program will also result in more child care options for parents who work the second shift, third shift, and weekend hours.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.