Throughout the United States Child care centers struggle to function at full capacity despite a widespread worker shortage, CNBC reported.
The problem has led to waiting lists for parents looking to care for their children, especially now that companies are aiming to return staff who worked remotely during lockdown to the office.
And the situation will worsen because the demand for care will increase in the fall and without childcare some parents will have to leave the workforce, which will surely slow down the economic recovery and the coverage of the new jobs that are being generated.
Employers of the child care industry have long struggled to find, hire and retain skilled workers, and this problem was exacerbated by the pandemic.
Cindy Lehnhoff, director of the National Child Care Association, said the sector lost about 350,000 workers, about a third of its workforce, during the health crisis due to layoffs and has not yet been able to recoup these losses.
“At the height of the pandemic, we lost many early childhood educators. Since President Biden took office in 2020, we have added about 65,000 child care jobs. That puts us at 89% of the pre-pandemic level, but it’s definitely not enough.“Said Katie Hamm, deputy assistant secretary for early childhood development at the Administration for Children and Families. “In general, it is difficult to recruit people in the early childhood sector.”
The child care industry has struggled to gain staff, in large part because of the low wages and few benefits offered.
Many centers are closing their doors permanently. Government stimulus assistance to the sector has been vital and some center owners say it is the reason they are still in business but assure that the industry needs a long-term solution.
Angela Garcia has a dozen open positions at her two child care centers in New Mexico. You’ve tried to cover them with job fairs, login bonuses, retention incentives, and worked with recruiters, but nothing has worked.
He says that between five and eight stalls have been open for more than six months. At one time, Garcia had 12 job interviews scheduled, but only three applicants attended and when he offered positions to two of them, they turned him down.
“I’ll be completely honest, we are lost,” Garcia said. “We are not having any luck finding anyone who wants to return to the workforce at this time. If we don’t start bringing staff into our centers, I’m possibly considering closing classrooms, which will only reduce access to my families, and I’m not really sure how that will help our community recover. “
Katie Hamm commented that $ 39 billion for child care was included in the American Rescue Plan, the largest investment ever made in the industry. Industry folks say that while many centers closed, others were able to keep their doors open in large part thanks to government help.
Garcia assures that government aid is the reason your business survived, but you are worried about the future.
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