Fargo Forum: Before-school child care options shrink in North Dakota as sta
"Families in the Fargo area that need before-school care for their children have seen their options dwindle this fall as a child care worker shortage drags on.
Multiple child care facilities have discontinued morning care, most often utilized by parents whose jobs require them to start before their child’s school day begins.
This fall, the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties cut its morning care that was originally provided starting at 6:30 a.m. at school-based sites in Fargo and West Fargo and at the Y’s Fercho and Schlossman locations in Fargo, from which children would be transported to their local schools.
Tania Zerr, executive director of the Y’s Learning Center, said approximately 150 children were impacted when the programming was cut at West Fargo elementary schools and at Horace Mann, Roosevelt, Jefferson, Madison and McKinley elementary schools in Fargo.
“Our ability to staff that just was nonexistent,” she said. “Something had to give".
The article closes with:
"Low pay for child care work is a perpetual problem in the state, Jung [community coordinator at Child Care Aware of ND] said, with the average employee making a little over $11 an hour while not receiving health insurance coverage or retirement benefits.
The child care industry needs an infusion of funding, she said, not just COVID-19 money, stabilization grants or other temporary measures, which have already been spent.
“It has to be subsidized somehow by the state, because it's a workforce issue. Other businesses cannot work if there’s no child care,” Jung said."
Read the full editorial here.