Child Care Crisis | VideoAlex Hagan | 7/18/2012
Child care providers from all over the state gathered in Dickinson to discuss the ongoing child care crisis.
"The crisis is that there are children going to work with their dads in truck and staying in hotel rooms by themselves and even if they`re old enough, that`s not a good spot for them," said Shirley Brentrup with Vision West North Dakota.
Many parents are unable to find sufficient care for their children, and day care providers are being overrun.
"We are in some schools, we are in churches everywhere, we`re in headstart so just being able to spread out and being able to get qualified personnel in those facilities is very difficult for us," said Sherry Wagner with Sheperd Day Care Center in Minot.
One of the biggest issues day care owners brought up was being able to keep their business afloat.
"The ability to pay competitive wages is just not there. The overhead of running a day care is a lot higher than people realize," said Dee Dobitz with Tot Lot Child Care in Bowman.
Owners need to hire more qualified employees for the job.
"It is not just a 40 hour a week job. It is a 6:00 in the morning til 6:00 at night job," said former child care provider Earleen Friez.
Child care providers spent all morning listing issues and trying to come up with solutions.
"We are going to need huge funding to help with this. The workforce is such a dire need and also is in a day care because the wages aren`t as much as they should be," said District 36 representative Shirley Meyer.
But day care employees say discussing the issues is a step in the right direction.
"It`s just important to support those folks that are already in this profession and to keep them there," Brentrup said.
The child care crisis is an ongoing issue, and providers say it needs to be solved, or soon children won`t have anywhere to go.
The meeting featured providers from mostly booming communities such as Dickinson, Minot, Williston and Bowman.