West Michigan’s New Shortage: Daycare Facilities
The pandemic has led to a variety of shortages and now West Michigan faces a new one and that is childcare and daycare centers.
My son and even his older brother, at one time, needed daycare because both parents were working during the day. So I know what it's like to have a child in daycare and to search for a good one that is safe and affordable, it's not easy at any time let alone during a pandemic.
We hear about shortages all the time because of the pandemic, like parts for trucks and cars, products made overseas, different types of food but I never really thought about daycare shortages since my son's mom now works from home and eliminated the need for daycare.
According to FOX 17, if you thought finding daycare was tough in 2020, 2021 is way worse because so many childcare centers and at-home daycares have closed their doors out of safety concerns and lack of staffing.
As families are returning back to the workplace there is a constant need for childcare in West Michigan and many are struggling to find a place to put their children. Plus, because of COVID-19, many daycare centers have lowered the number of kids they take in out of safety until children under 12 can be vaccinated.
Many parents are now being put on daycare waiting lists or being turned away altogether because the shortage is very real and the demand is huge. Where there is a demand, usually means the prices go up as well.
Staffing has been another issue. Many daycare workers and independent in-home daycare owners and workers have walked away from the industry out of their own safety. If a childcare center doesn't have enough workers, they have to limit the number of children they can take in.
FOX 17 reported back in March of this year that as of March of 2020 to March 2021, there were 47 childcare centers closed down in Michigan and 232 at-home daycare closed as well.
Since then, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, another 96 at-home daycare centers have closed with 49 childcare centers shutting down as well. This is all happening now in real-time as parents are being called to come back to work in the office.
It is a tough market right now with childcare centers and at-home daycare, but if you have always wanted to be in the field, there are tons of opportunities out there for you. Plus this might be the gateway for you to own your own daycare someday.