Local meeting to be held concerning daycare

By Lisa Snedeker

In a recent article in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Tenhaken pointed out an issue of growing concern. According to the statement made by Mayor Tenhaken, “a lack of reliable, affordable daycare is the #1 issue affecting our workforce.” This is a growing concern in Woonsocket as well.

With 75 percent of children under six years old having both parents in the workforce, it is becoming an increasing concern that the number of daycare facilities in the state has fallen steadily for more than a decade. Registered, in-home providers fell by half since 2012. There are many reasons for the shortage, especially for those who are registered with the state:  licensing restrictions limit the number of children that can be cared for and it is difficult to find child care workers. If a registered daycare provider wants to provide care to more children, the requirements for education, certification, and number of staff needed far outweighs the ability of the daycare to pay the expenses.  In rural communities, it is even more difficult to find qualified child care workers. Add on the long hours daycares need to be open to allow time for parents to travel to and from work, and it becomes a career very few people are attracted to. With a lack of workers and tight restrictions on the number of children that can be cared for, it is almost impossible for a daycare to remain viable. The Argus Leader article stated that the average cost for daycare in Sioux Falls is $200 per week per child.  In Woonsocket, the average cost for daycare is half that amount at $100 per week with many providers offering discounts for multiple children in the same family or weekly after school rates that barely cover the cost of a snack, let alone the wages of those supervising.  

…Read on in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

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