“We can’t close:” Local child care centers grapple with rising inflation



SALISBURY, Md.-  It’s no secret that inflation has been a major talker, as it hits industries across America. Yet, one that may not come to mind is the rising price of child care.

Local child care centers tell 47ABC they’re raising prices, have long wait lists, and adjusting hours to make ends meet.

We reached out to several offices and many weren’t able to speak because as directors are now filling in as teachers and in other roles due to labor storages.

That’s the same situation for the Night Watch Child Care Center right in Salisbury.

Owner Amy Stewart tells 47ABC her facility now operates under reduced hours and is closed on weekends to help save on expenses.  She says the price of their grocery list for the meals and snack they serve has also doubled.

Although they haven’t raised their tuition prices just yet, she says she hopes some relief is on the way as business expenses are now coming out of her own pocket. “I’m watching kids for free, using discounted rates. We had a staff member who tried for six months to get her voucher and her kids were coming here. Who’s footing the bill for that? I am. It’s okay because we love our moms and our families,” Stewart said.

“I can’t hire more staff until I have more kids. I can’t have more kids until I have the staff. I can’t have more staff until I have more money. So I’m in this rock in a hard place of waiting for money to come from the state.”

That state funding Stewart mentioned is a Federal Sustainability Grant she applied for 6 months ago that’s still in a pending status. She adds what profit they do makes goes straight to things like replacing cribs and other equipment.

With more parents heading back to work, Stewart says they’re faced with the challenge of trying to meet parents where they are.  “We lost a family of 3 who was coming from Cambridge and dropping her kids off here to go back to work in Cambridge. She can’t afford $5 dollars in gas. It just didn’t make sense. She was spending all her money in gas and childcare,” Stewart said.

“We can’t close. I’ve thought about it in the last few months about closing because it’s stressful but I still have parents calling me saying we need care.”

Stewart also says that staffing has been a major challenge, not because their aren’t enough people willing to work but businesses have to have the money to pay them. She adds most child care professionals barley make above minimum wage and most of the trainings they need typically come out of their own pockets.

Stewart also tells 47ABC they’re looking to get creative with finding more ways to bring money into the business outside of childcare which could include things like offering trainings and providing mental health services.

(function(d, s, id){
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;}
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.6″;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win


Leave a Reply