ILLINOIS– Baby Talk, an early-childhood resource center in Decatur is getting a big refund from the state.
The two year budget impasse ran the organization’s finances dry, forcing them to make dozens of layoffs and cut backs but now they’re looking forward to getting things back on track and serving the famiies in their community.
For the last 2 years employees at dozens of non profits throughout the state say they felt like they’ve been on a sinking ship.
“It’s really difficult it’s heartbreaking,” says Cindy Bardeleben Baby Talk Director of Local Programming.
That’s how she felt watching it go down.
Baby Talk became another casualty during the fiscal crisis
In June, they cut more than half of their services and laid off over 30 employees.
“It impacts staff it impacts families it impacts our purchasing what we’re allowed to do in the local economy.”
The job loss has been a tough break for the entire community.
“Having these services to help families in Decatur is critical, it’s a quality of life issue…it’s important we get these things solved,” says Ryan McCrady President of Decatur’s Economic Development Corporation.
Finally Friday morning, relief came.
“Fabulous news very excited,” says Bardeleben
The state refunded the organization more than $400,000 dollars.
“The money puts us back on our feet and honestly to be paid up to June 30th at the end of July is the best place we’ve been in many years.”
Instead of figuring out how to stay afloat, employees at baby talk say they can work on re-hiring staff and getting services back.
“Having that back up and running just provides a lot more comfort and certainty to a lot of families in our community,” says McCrady.
The Decatur area has seen a yo-yo in employment opportunities these last few months But news like this puts many back on the path forward.
“We’re thrilled to be able to continue,” says Bardeleben.
Baby Talk now has received the green light to rehire staff.
It’s is a critical time for the service. They provides aid to young parents returning to school.