TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Child care is getting harder and harder to find here in the Tampa Bay area, as the effects of Covid-19 continue to cripple the industry.
“Every day it’s stressful,” said Sara Singh, owner of Creative World School in Tampa Palms.
She said her teachers are stretched thin.
“Since the past three years, it’s been a struggle to get the right personnel in, the right educators,” said Singh. “It’s either a credential issue or background screen issue or better position somewhere with higher pay.”
Creative World School isn’t the only facility pushing through the crisis; It’s national struggle.
Four out of five child care centers in the US are understaffed, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It’s also one of the lowest paid occupations, paying $12 on average, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This strain on the industry is trickling down to parents, especially those like Rachel Wilson, who are trying to re-enter the workforce.
“You have to work to provide for your family, but when you have no one to watch them every day at a certain time it’s very stressful.”
Wilson said finding child care for her young children is a full-time job in itself.
“I would call the same daycares once a week for weeks. Everyday care that I’ve called says there’s 20 or 30 kids ahead of you,” said Wilson. “In the meantime I have to rely on my mother and other friends and relatives.”
Creative World School has also had to limit its amount of students because of the lack of teachers and is afraid the issue is only going to get worse.