Child Care Shortage | VideoEvan Kruegel | 2/24/2012
Williston has 50 licensed daycares, but Williams County social service worker Kathy Molland says that`s nowhere near enough. She says she has been working on the issue.
"A huge challenge is for parents to be able to find childcare for their children. There are so many people coming into town and there are not enough daycares to accommodate the kids."
Laurie Reighard owns Safety First Daycare. She watches 14 to 18 children every day. Her next available opening is a year away. "I get calls every day. I don`t even take a waiting list anymore because there would be no sense. By the time I could call them back their spot would be filled."
Daycare centers like this one get numerous calls from families, but the most desperate are the single mothers.
"The single moms are very hard when they are calling in desperate need and we just have to tell them sorry. We tell them it`s a year so a waiting list is kind of pointless," said Jayme Reighard with Safety First Daycare.
Those who can`t get their children into a licensed daycare face very difficult decisions.
"There are some people that do have to quit their jobs, or they take their children to an unlicensed center where that person could be providing illegal care," Molland said.
Two new care-centers are in the approval process in Williams County, but Molland says with this kind of growth, there will simply have to be more.
Daycare providers must pass a fingerprint-based background check, be certified in C.P.R and first-aid, and pass numerous city inspections.