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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – After more than a year of controversy, the Mississippi Department of Human Services is enacting requirements that parents use a finger scanner to sign children in and out of federally-subsidized child care.

The scanners will be required starting Oct. 1 for 18,000 children whose care is subsidized by federal grant.

By then, parents and other caregivers will have to visit county Department of Human Services offices to have their fingers scanned, or lose their subsidy.

DHS officials say the program will save money and spur parents to visit preschools more often, promoting interaction with teachers.

Opponents say scanners are intrusive and technically burdensome. They sued DHS, forcing the department to repeat the administrative process by which it required the scanners.

DHS says centers can decline subsidies if they dislike scanners.


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