SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Advocates and state leaders across South Dakota are working to address a shortage of available day care– a problem many parents face as they undergo the difficult task of finding someone trustworthy to care for their children while they’re at work.
For moms like Bailey Anders, the smaller numbers of an in-home day care setting helped her feel more at ease dropping her daughter off every day. It’s a choice many families prefer not only for the smaller numbers, but also the lower price tag compared to many larger daycare centers. But both types of child care are facing similar shortages right now.
“Especially for a new mom, your anxiety is through the roof in the first place. So trying to trust someone and leave them with a random strangers is super hard. Very hard,” said Anders.
The number of state registered in “home child care” providers has dropped over the past few years, due in part to the opening of more daycare centers. But both options are extremely full and have long wait lists, especially for children under the age of 2.
South Dakota is using several state funds to help encourage more people to become state-registered family child care providers in their community.
“We have grants that are available, health and safety grants that are available to those providers. To help them meet any licensing requirements. We also have infant toddler grants that are available. There’s also other supports such as supports to professional learning, professional growth opportunities. To get their child development associate credential,” said Becky Nelson, DSS Licensing and Accreditation Administrator.
Bridget Bennett: How quickly once you decided to start did you fill up?
Stephanie Nicolaisen, day care provider: Instantly. And I have a waiting list. And I’m getting calls on a regular basis, text messages, facebook messages and I don’t even have to advertise.
In Friday night’s Eye on KELOLAND at 10 p.m., we’ll learn about the role in-home day care providers can play in helping to ease the daycare shortages in South Dakota and how the state is trying to entice more people to become registered daycare providers.