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Daycare Waitlists at All-Time High as Childcare Industry Still Reels from Pandemic

While many industries have bounced back to their pre-pandemic employment levels, the childcare industry is still short 60,000 teachers across the nation as of March 2023. With more parents needing childcare than there are available spots, waitlists have grown to unprecedented sizes. It can take months, even years, for a spot to open up, forcing parents to make difficult decisions, like quitting their jobs and choosing not to have additional children. Single parents and parents of children with disabilities often have the most difficulty meeting their childcare needs. Meanwhile, in two-parent households, women are more likely than men to have to give up their careers due to an inability to secure childcare.

Take a look at this in-depth article from The Current:

Day care waitlists are so long, moms are quitting their jobs or choosing to stop having kids

Erica Manoatl got on waitlists for child care when she was about 12 weeks pregnant with her daughter. It should have been enough time, she thought then. Now, her daughter is almost a year and a half old. Manoatl is still waiting.

In early 2021, Manoatl got on three waitlists for area day cares in Denver, paying about $150 for each application. With 16 weeks of parental leave, that gave her almost a year of runway to get off of the lists. But shortly after her daughter was born in November 2021, the day cares all told her it could be another year and a half to two years’ wait.

After her leave ended, Manoatl hired a nanny at a much higher cost than a child care center, but after a few weeks the nanny quit when she was recruited to a job with higher pay. So Manoatl and her husband tried to do the unsustainable: care for their daughter while both working full-time from home.

Image via The Current


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