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Changes to Medicare and Day Care Services

   Daycare provider in the corridor and all across Iowa are waiting for answers and fear they may have to tell parents they can no longer care for their special needs kids after January 1st.
   Deb Vandergaast is helping a dad put shoes and coats on his two boys and little girl as they get ready to leave her Adaptive Daycare in Tipton.  She says new state Medicaid regulations require additional qualifications and requirements for providers who care for special needs children.
   Vandergaast has an entire computer file of smiling pictures of the girl who gives her inspiration. 16-year-old Carrie has cerebral palsy and has come to this home daycare for half of her life.  But after New Years, according to the state, legally she cant.  I try so hard just to help those families and then this is just pulled away from them like this.  Her mom has to work and without my services shes too old to go to any other daycares and her other providers wont do all-day care, they wont even do care on early out school days.  
   Vandergaast says she understands what probably started out as a well-intentioned crackdown on Medicaid fraud and new qualifications for daycare providers to keep disabled children from just being put in diapers and stuck in front of a television. But in a city the size of Tipton and in many small Iowa towns, daycare for parents with kids who have special needs can be impossible to find. That could impact more than just daycare owners and workers.  Her mom wont be able to work on days that theres no school.  Her mom will lose her job which in the end will result in them being in poverty and losing their home. 
   The Iowa Department of Human Services says it is taking a close look at how good daycares can stay qualified and continue to help families with special needs children, but for right now there isnt a timeline on when that might happen.
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