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Finding childcare continues to be a struggle for parents in West Texas communities

Children are being placed on waitlists for childcare for months at a time, causing some parents to outsource for help.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Hundreds of parents in the Concho Valley and Big Country have been dealing with struggles of escaping the waitlists for childcare. 

Some parents are even dealing with not being able to work full-time because of the lack of available childcare facilities with enough employees to keep their children. 

San Angelo YMCA Executive Director Angel Flores said this problem stems from simply not having enough staff.

“As much as I would like to say it’s because we’re over capacity, that’s not the case. Since the pandemic hit, it has been hard to find people to work in the childcare realm. It’s been tough for not just us but many surrounding childcare businesses to keep up with the demand,” Flores said. 

This year was the first time the YMCA was forced to create a wait list for its childcare services because of short-staffing. No word on how many people are on that list.

San Angelo mother Sierra Nicole ended up giving up on waiting to get off almost a dozen daycare lists for her baby and relying on family to keep her child.

Stephanie Flores, a mother of a nine-month-old, has been on waitlists for countless daycare centers since she was pregnant with her baby. 

“It's been a stressful situation I didn’t know was part of parenthood. We moved to San Angelo a year ago and do not have family in town so we really need the help,” Flores said.

Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley offers childcare assistance to help income-eligible families pay for childcare so they can seek employment, go to work or attend educational or vocational training programs. Consumers receiving childcare assistance must meet federal, state and local guidelines in order to qualify.