DHS Pauses Finger Scan Expansion

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Parents and child-care providers have concerns about a new state program that requires a finger scan when picking up or dropping off kids at day care.

Mississippi Department of Human Services is putting off the rollout of a controversial finger scanning program for daycare centers.

DHS launched a pilot program in September requiring some recipients of low-income child-care vouchers to scan their finger when dropping off or picking up a child. The change sparked complaints and a public hearing last week.

In a letter to providers dated Oct. 12, DHS early childhood care and development director Jill Dent told providers that the department would expand the Mississippi eChildcare pilot program, but would not implement phases one and two of the plan. Other child-care centers around the state were slated to start using the biometric finger scanners on Nov. 1.

In addition, all training sessions for the scanning machines that child-care centers say were full of glitches have been canceled, Dent's letter said.

During the public hearing, some providers stated that representatives of Xerox, which has the contract to manage the system, have repeatedly called in recent weeks, telling providers they must sign and return a contract or they wouldn't continue getting paid.

The Mississippi attorney general's office intervened on behalf of child-care providers who said they received harassing phone calls from Xerox, telling the company to further communications with providers.

Read more:

Following the DHS Scanner Money

Finger Scanners Spark Concerns

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