Daycare centers still struggle to hire, but more Kansans are showing interest in opening a business

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – While some families struggle to find child care, many facilities are trying to get the staff they need to meet the demand.

Facility managers told KSN it was difficult to find skilled workers even before the pandemic.

“For a long time this was not visible to anyone and the COVID boy made it visible,” said Teresa Rupp, executive director of Child Start.

The pandemic highlights how crucial child care is for all employers.

“They saw that it’s hard to bring back the workforce when the workforce doesn’t have daycare,” Rupp said.

However, it is difficult for some families to find a place. When daycares do not receive enough applicants.

“We don’t have all of our Head Start classrooms open. We haven’t opened all of our Early Head Start classrooms because we can’t hire staff and in many cases we don’t get any applications at all, ”said Rupp. “This is in part because the salaries are not aligned with what we expect from these people. “

Despite a few challenges, there are Kansans ready to step up.

“We are seeing some interest in entering the child care profession,” said Kelly Davydov, director of Child Care Aware of Kansas. “Interested in becoming a child care provider by working in a day care child care program or opening a small business and operating a child care program from home. “

So far this year 149 people in Sedgwick County have been trained to learn how to open a child care center. This is already 40 more than at the same time last year.

Child Care Aware of Kansas has also noticed increased interest from state and local leaders.

“We have been very encouraged by this and continue to work directly with communities as they seek local solutions tailored to their unique challenges,” Davydov said.

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