BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – Some daycare providers are increasing their care costs because of inflation and the higher cost of necessities. Worker shortages and low wages are also putting stress on the childcare industry.
For many Bismarck families, daycare is an essential cost every month. Aimee is just one daycare provider feeling the stress.
“A lot of it is inflation, so I mean our costs are going up, so we have to balance that with rates for the children we care for,” said Aimee Jo Martinek, owner of Just Like Home Family Child Care.
North Dakota does have an income-based Child Care Assistance Program that helps pay a portion of childcare costs for some families.
“I mean just that we are still encouraging all families to apply. If you think you’re not eligible, go ahead and apply just in case, you know, with those income increases. More and more families are eligible,” said Emily Kerns, child care assistance program administrator.
This program covers 85 percent acceptance of North Dakota’s state median income. The state median income will be re-evaluated again on October 1, and the rates will be re-adjusted again.
“So we’ve been open for three years now, and we’ve just raised our rates for the first time. I know for me personally, I want to keep it as low as I possibly can but also balance the costs the daycare has,” said Martinek.
Aimee has had to meet rising costs in formula, food, electricity, and many other necessities that contribute to her cost increase.
“And I heard on the daycare provider page, hey, we’re a center, we’re struggling this, that and the other thing. I’m surprised that First Steps Learning Centers just opened another building. I don’t know how they’re going to staff it because staffing is a nightmare,” said Martinek.
Like many other daycares, Aimme has a long waiting list. For the child care assistance program, the application can be found here.
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