JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – State lawmakers held a hearing to address ongoing concerns about federal funding with childcare in Mississippi. The hearing was held by the Democratic House Caucus on Thursday.

Leaders from the Democratic House Caucus said the hearing comes after childcare providers expressed concerns about the lack of transparency with the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS).

The hearing included input from MDHS, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and childcare advocates.

“DPS, as well as other agencies, tell us all the time that they need more held, more personnel. The Legislature, sometimes being conservatives or overly-protective stewards, don’t award the necessary employment to have the staffing they need. If we have this amount of money that’s going to enhance business, put money back into the economy and provide childcare coverage for children and families. We need to make sure we have the personnel to make sure this money gets out. Maybe when we come out in January, we can make sure these agencies are well staffed,” said House Minority Leader Robert Johnson III (D-94th District).

Officials from DHS said they have regular, monthly calls where licensed, registered providers are able to join in.

Members from the Democratic Caucus said they hope the hearing at the Capitol will foster conversations on both sides of the aisle.