News

Daycare shortage causing havoc with families

After the birth of a child there is the joy of having the baby safely tucked in your arms.

Republican

Posted on 9/6/14

By Melissa Anderson

From there, the concern of finding someone with whom you can trust the care of your new little one becomes a major point of worry for parents.

Langdon area families are facing a very tough situation when it comes to work or family.  Every at home daycare and the Langdon Daycare Center are full with no other options in sight for those seeking caretakers for their children.

The five at home daycares are all full and just about every one has a wait list with several families on it.

“What can we do? We are only allowed to care for a certain amount of children.” One home based day care provider said.

Many of those on the wait lists are currently pregnant. But unless something changes, once those babies arrive their parents will be in a tough spot to find someone to care for their little one while they are at work.

The at home daycares all have years of experience with a few who have been caring for the children of Langdon for 30 years.

All of the at home daycare providers agree that the only solution is for another at home day care to open.

“All we can do is pray that more people take this job on” one at home provider said.

“There are so many rewards to this career” another added.

Providing daycare services are not for the faint of heart, however. It can be difficult to care for children and it can sometimes extend into a 50 hour work week.

“It’s hard for somebody just starting out because of the hoops they have to jump through, which can be overwhelming” one at home day care provider said.

The state laws regarding licensing to become a home based daycare, while simple and straightforward, are extensive.

Child care licensing regulations currently are meant to protect children, parents, and the daycare providers themselves.

Licensed child care providers are required to maintain at least minimum standards related to: physical size of the facility in which child care services are provided, safety features, cleanliness, staff qualifications, including training and background check, and staff-to-child ratios.

A county social service office is a potential provider and already established providers first point of contact with questions about the licensing system.

There are six licensed child care provider categories, with the most relevant licenses being for family or group child care.

The regulations for these individual licenses are also very strict, with numbers being dependent upon facility size.

There are also regulations for unlicensed child care provider.  For Self-declared Providers, the number of children they are allowed to care for are five or fewer children or three infants at home.

These providers must meet some minimal standards, including a background check and basic health and safety training. They are inspected prior to approval, and receive one monitoring visit per year.

Individuals wishing to apply for a self-declaration or licenses should contact their county social service office. The Cavalier County Social Services can be reached at 701-256-2175 for more information.

The Langdon Daycare Center is currently full as well. They are trying to recruit more staff so that they can take in more children.

The Center is also expanding its facility to accommodate more children, particularly infants. Good news for the eight families on the waiting list.

The main issue with getting more staff is of course salary.

“It’s hard to get good people to come and care for the children when they can be making more money working some place else. “ Jackie Thom, manager of the Langdon Daycare  Center, said.

With so many babies on theway and so few providers able to take in more children, options for parents are pretty slim.