Staffing shortages, low pay contribute to daycare dilemma in metro Atlanta | Investigations

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (CBS46) – Daycare dilemma. As folks start to show off their zoom cameras and make their manner again to the workplace, extra Georgia dad and mom are in want of high quality and reasonably priced baby care.

However as CBS46 investigative reporter Rachel Polansky has realized, low pay and lengthy hours is making it troublesome for baby care suppliers to seek out employees.

And people staffing shortages can impression households by leaving youngsters caught on lengthy wait lists.

Two years after she opened Lifeline Christian World Academy in Stone Mountain, Roshonda Smith says life was good.

She had regular enrollment, and a strong instructing employees so she determined to purchase a second location. It was February 2020 – a giant yr, however not in the best way she hoped.

Lifeline Christian World Academy in Stone Mountain

Lifeline Christian World Academy in Stone Mountain

“All of it will depend on COVID-19, every thing will depend on COVID” mentioned Smith, who already needed to shut her doorways as soon as, when a employee examined constructive.

Now – like employers in most service industries – she says her largest problem is discovering employees, who she is aware of can earn more money working at large field shops.

“Amazon is constructing simply across the nook. They’re providing $15 to $20 an hour. And little outdated me, I’m providing $12 an hour,” Smith mentioned.

So she affords her employees incentives and provides out bonuses.

As a result of elevating pay would possible imply elevating tuition and that’s one thing she doesn’t wish to do to folks.

She’s additionally gotten some monetary assist from the state.

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Studying dished out $165 million {dollars} to licensed baby care suppliers in Georgia.

$165 million

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Studying dished out $165 million {dollars} to licensed baby care suppliers in Georgia.

“They will spend these {dollars} on staffing, advantages, salaries, upkeep, there’s good flexibility in these funds,” mentioned Amy Jacobs, commissioner of Georgia Division of Early Care and Studying.

A July 2020 nationwide survey by the Nationwide Affiliation for the Training of Younger Kids (NAEYC) discovered 18-percent of kid care facilities across the nation had been compelled to closed their doorways throughout the pandemic.

One other NAEYC survey from September 2021 discovered one in each three respondents mentioned they had been contemplating leaving their baby care program or closing their household baby care house throughout the subsequent yr, with one other 14% saying “possibly” they would go away or shut.

In Georgia, the variety of licensed baby care facilities really elevated 0.7% throughout the pandemic, from 3,075 to three,097. In the meantime, the variety of licensed household baby care properties decreased 7.4% from 1,373 to 1,272. That’s in keeping with Georgia Division of Early Care and Studying.

“I need it to be a household heart the place they really feel beloved right here,” mentioned Breona Udofia, the proprietor of Caterpillar Worldwide Academy in Sandy Springs.

Breona Udofia is a part of these statistics. She simply opened Caterpillar Worldwide Academy in September, 2021.

Caterpillar International Academy in Sandy Springs

Caterpillar Worldwide Academy in Sandy Springs

She agrees that recruiting employees is a problem.

“I’ve executed Instagram, Certainly, I’ve executed every thing to try to rent folks to come back out and work full-time. It is an issue,” Udofia mentioned.

She’s additionally having bother getting children within the door.

“Loads of dad and mom are doing part-time, they’re not doing full-time enrollment,” Udofia mentioned. “I feel numerous dad and mom are nonetheless working from house.”

To date, she has not turned a revenue however she’s hopeful that issues will flip round.

“I’m gonna be okay. I do know it’s gonna get higher,” Udofia mentioned.

The Georgia Division of Early Care and Studying mentioned extra monetary assist is on the best way. They are going to reopen one other spherical of STABLE (Short-Term Assistance Benefit for Licensed Entities) funding in February 2022, for people who didn’t apply.

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