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Daycares seeing long waitlist heading into August as more go back to work

10 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Wednesday, July 07 2021 Jul 7, 2021 July 07, 2021 9:18 PM July 07, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- As federal unemployment money is set to stop at the end of July, daycare workers are experiencing an influx in calls from parents trying to get child care.

"Due to everyone going back to work I feel it's been a high demand for child care, we probably get about 4 to 5 calls a day asking if we have opened," said Elizabeth Andry, owner Southside Child Development Center.

Also, it's July right before school lets back in but also when lots of parents return to work. At Southside daycare, last year was slow while this year they've reached their capacity.

"We usually start a waiting list for classrooms and as soon as we have an opening and say to the parent, we have a spot for your child are you still interested in child care," said Andry.

Southside's waiting list stretches all the way to March 2022. While off Government Street at Kids Counts, they're celebrating their 35th birthday. They tell WBRZ waits are a part of their usual business

"We're always busy. We're busy 12 months a year there's never really a lull, the lull comes mid-August when our Pre-K children go to big school," said Toni Turnley, owner of Kids Count.

For Kids Count their waitlist stretches to about a year and it's stayed that way even during the pandemic.

"I truly think the need today is greater than it was 35 years ago when I went in business," said Turnley.

Saying in Baton Rouge daycare waitlists are notoriously long.

"There are fewer and fewer quality places out there for parents to choose from especially for infants. A lot of people don't take newborns at 6 weeks old," said Turnley.

Reminding any parents to start making those phones calls now for child care.

"Beat the bushes go to several places and get on several waiting list. Call places that you would want your child to go and don't put all your eggs in one basket," said Turnley.

Many daycares also tell WBRZ staffing shortages are another factor. Kidz Karousel says they could hire 50 employees for their 6 locations.

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