Every year, the need for child care in Minnehaha County grows, but now there is one less option. iCare Interactive Childcare on West 49th Street in Sioux Falls will close on Friday. On Monday, the owners gave notice to the Sioux Falls Helpline Center.
February should have been a big month of celebration. According to iCare's website, it has been eight years since the owners bought the facility.
One of the owners declined an interview with KELOLAND News, and would not give a reason for the shutdown, just that it is a, "personal matter." According to the South Dakota Department of Social Services, it does not have any citations or reasons that would force it to close. It currently takes care of 90 kids. This leaves many parents scrambling to find a different child care provider, but it is not as easy as it sounds.
"We've gotten about three or four calls each day and we've had to turn them away," First Adventure Learning Center Owner/Director Jessie Holte said.
All of these calls are from parents who send their kids to the soon-to-be defunct iCare. The waiting list to get into First Adventure Learning Center, which has 104 kids - babies through kindergarteners, is full through August. It is good business for Holte and her husband, Ryan, who opened three years ago and now plan to expand. However, it is hard for working parents who need the extra help.
"It is really frustrating. You want to get them in at a good time. You don't want to send them away and you don't want to make them wait for three or four months either," Holte said.
The Helpline Center refers parents to day care facilities, but 211 Director Brandi Adamski said it is challenging because many day cares are full and require parents to get on a waiting list.
"We get over 200 phone calls a month," Adamski said
Adamski said the demand for child care in Minnehaha, Lincoln, Turner and McCook Counties increases every year. Inquiries rose eight percent from 2011 to 2012.
"We encourage parents, not long after they find out they are pregnant, to begin looking," Adamski said.
When one business closes, the affects can be found on the faces of multiple moms and dads.
"They are very desperate. They're basically telling me they need day care on Monday. They're looking for whatever they can get right now," Holte said.