MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Officials warn that Minnesota may have to pay millions of dollars in penalties this fall for chronically underfunding a program that helps subsidize child care expenses for low-income families.

The state's publicly funded child care assistance program helps more than 15,000 families and repays daycare providers for looking after eligible children.

A Minnesota Department of Human Services report shows that it covers just 16.3% of total costs charged by home day care providers and 23% of the costs billed by larger providers.

DHS officials say Minnesota would be subject to penalties starting Oct. 1 if lawmakers don't increase the subsidy.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app