Childcare centers struggle with staffing shortages

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 9:29 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - Staffing shortages in childcare is something daycare centers have been noticing for the past 18 months.

NewsChannel 7 talked with Tiny Tiger childcare in Marshfield and they said the staff shortage is nothing they’ve ever seen, with more job openings now than ever.

“It’s a really scary situation right now,” Tiny Tiger Administrator Sarah Franklin said. “If we had more staff, we could potentially care for more children.”

Franklin said she has four full time jobs open at her center right now, but no takers.

“Childcare is a low paying field and right now it seems to me that the benefit of unemployment is more than what they would be working full time,” she said.

Franklin said her center will soon be having eight staff leaving for college, and she’s been trying to fill those spots before it’s too late.

“If we are not able to hire additional staff, I’m really afraid that we... I don’t want to call any parents and tell them they can’t come for the day. I’m really afraid that that’s the possibility in the future, we’ve never had to do that before,” Franklin said.

Often times, people will apply for jobs at Tiny Tiger and will either not show up for the interview, not answer calls back or even leave wrong phone numbers, Franklin said.

“I can honestly say that this is the worst I have ever seen staffing problems in childcare,” Childcaring Executive Director Kelly Borchardt said.

Childcaring is a resource and referral agency located in Mosinee. Borchardt has been in the childcare business for over 30 years.

She said she hears from centers daily with concerns about staffing all over Central Wisconsin.

“I think we lost people because of their own health conditions and their own safety, but then the low wages and the pay and little benefits,” Borchardt said.

It’s a problem that likely won’t end soon, but Borchardt said a possibility of help from the American Rescue Plan could be the breakthrough in the industry.

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