Parents struggling with lack of daycare options, openings

Published: Aug. 13, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It’s that time of the year again, when parents must juggle their work schedule with their child’s school schedules. Something that’s been growing harder every year for both working parents and childcare providers

Darian Martindale had her young daughter in daycare briefly before deciding to open her own business in Haysville last year.

“I knew there was an issue in the community, I didn’t know how bad it was in the beginning,” Martindale said. “I started to see it a lot more working in daycare.”

She says many parents come to her after facing challenges.

“No openings,” Martindale said. “I’ve had a lot of parents come to me saying that their daycare was closed too many times a month. Openings for infants has been an issue, I’ve had a lot of parents come to me with newborns.”

According to Childcare Aware of Kansas, 21 counties reported having no openings for infants and toddlers in 2021.

The state has lost 78 childcare providers, which results in 938 fewer spots.

With the school year starting back up, Martindale says she’s seen a lot of parents looking for childcare that will also transport kids to and from school. Which is why she’s in the process of adding that service to her daycare amenities.

“Especially when it comes to preschool kids when they’re only there for half a day, I’ve been getting a lot of that lately Preschool through elementary school,” Martindale said.

Martindale says rising childcare costs is also making daycare options limited for many families.

“We’ve had quite a few tours and more coming up but we’ve had a lot of people asking more about pricing and hours and flexibility,” she said. “Just a lot of people coming in, saying they’re having issues finding care.”

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