Posted by Anne Decker
Those who need child care are having a difficult time finding it.
Child care and transportation are the two biggest barriers to employment according to Job and Family Services. Rachael Reeder, Jessie Doyle and Joe Patton told us Monday that Job & Family Services' career consultants work with anyone seeking employment to make sure they have reliable daycare prior to being referred to employers. JFS also works with child care providers to help them through the state licensing process and comply with Ohio's Step Up To Quality standards. Reeder says complying with Step Up To Quality has been a challenge for many providers and who find that it is cost-prohibitive. As a result, many Allen County child care providers have closed their doors. Then COVID hit. The number of children allowed in day care centers was reduced and with children not in school, there was a rush for the few slots available. Many day care centers gave those slots to parents who were working full time, causing many parents who work part time to have to quit their jobs. "We have thousands of local working parents needing child care. Parents are now absent to work. They're losing that vital income that's coming into their household and if they don't have income they're not spending it here in Allen County, boosting our economy. That's also costing our employers a lot of money. You guys are now forced with the increased cost of doing more trainings and the turnover rates with the parents and hiring staff."
To help day care providers cope with the challenges, Job & Family Services is offering them hands-on assistance, including $500 vouchers to help purchase materials, assistance complying with state mandates, training classes, and more.