Childcare workers say low pay and stressful working conditions have made them want to leave the profession.

Childcare centers are limiting how many kids they accept because of understaffing.
A childcare provider exec said none of its three centers in St. Louis had enough staff.
The lack of childcare is in turn disrupting people’s return to work in other industries.

Childcare centers say they’re having to turning down business because they can’t find the staff to look after more kids.

Kristin Skebo, the executive director of Faith Academy, told KSDK that all three of the academy’s childcare centers in St. Louis had staffing shortages.

“We’ve filled the classroom based on the number of teachers that we have, instead of filling the classroom based on the number of spots that we have,” Skebo said.

She said that she got phone calls from parents trying to find spots for their children “at least once a day.”

“I get a phone call from a family who says, ‘I’ve called 10 different places, I’m in an emergency situation!’,” Skebo told KSDK.

Other childcare providers are also limiting capacity because of their lack of staff.

Tonya Muhammad, who runs Lil Critters Family Daycare in Hawthorne, California, told CalMatters that she’d had to cut the number of children she looked from 14 to six after she’d been unable to find a replacement for her assistant who left during the pandemic. Muhammad said she’d also reduced the business’ opening hours by roughly half, and that she now planned to wind down the business.

And a childcare center and preschool in North Dakota told The Washington Post in September that it had shut its toddler room and limited how many children it accepts in its infant room “because we don’t have enough staff.”

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Childcare workers previously told Insider that low pay and stressful working conditions had made them want to leave the profession.

“The wage that I make does not support my life,” a lead preschool teacher in Ohio said. “And unfortunately, the job that I absolutely love doesn’t pay me what I need.” They said that they earned $13 an hour and were looking for a better-paid job.

According to May 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, childcare workers earned a median hourly salary of $12.24.

The childcare staff shortage is exacerbating other labor shortages

Because childcare centers are understaffed, it’s making the labor shortage worse in other industries, too. This is because the lack of childcare is hampering people’s ability to return to work, creating what some childcare professionals have described as a “Catch-22” situation.

Ellicia Lanier, executive director of Urban Sprouts Child Development Center St. Louis, told KSDK that she’d had to turn down some doctors looking for spaces for their children.

“We know that there are shortages in the hospital,” Lanier said. “It’s just heartbreaking. Both ends are not meeting in the middle. We don’t have enough teachers, and then that means that there won’t be enough …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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