TEXAS, USA — Some child care centers are being hit hard by staffing shortages. Now some parents are resorting to asking family members to keep their children or even taking off work to watch their child.
Cynthia Pearson, Day Nursery president/CEO in Abilene, has about 600 students enrolled at her childcare centers.
Says finding people who want to work in child care has been their biggest issue.
“We’ve had to close four different classrooms because we didn’t have enough teachers or staff to provide the quality care we need to on a high level,” Pearson explained.
She also mentioned how finding people with clean records as well as people willing to go through the extensive background search and training for working with children is another issue.
These issues quickly trickle down to parents when they’re forced to be put on childcare center waiting lists.
Stephanie Tamaz says money plays a large role in all of this and it affects almost everyone's pockets.
“If the daycare's closed I can't work, I can't pay my bills. I've seen people ask if any daycares are open or any spots open. It's really frustrating and I see their frustration. I keep telling them if you're pregnant now, get on the waitlist as soon as you can,” Tamaz shared.
The longest she’s seen someone waitlisted is a year.
To avoid being waitlisted and relying on child care centers, Brandon Jackson and his wife work from home. While this isn’t always an option for parents, Jackson says it has worked out very well for him and his children.
“My wife is a stay-at-home mother. We enjoy working from home because it allows us to spend more time with our kids and enjoy the outdoors. It’s been great for us,” Jackson said.
But for now, the staff shortages haven’t ended for child care businesses. Pearson says she hopes business owners will get the staff needed sooner rather than later so everyone can make their money.