Worker shortages are causing a childcare crunch in the Triad

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Parents relying on daycare face long waitlists for some Greensboro facilities, and center directors say they can’t open up spots until they find more employees. 

“This time of year, waiting lists this long is a new phenomenon for our schools,” said Donna Danzy, who owns Piedmont Global Preschool and Wishview Children’s Center. 

She explained that during the pandemic, hundreds of childcare spots in Guilford County disappeared when centers permanently closed, putting a squeeze on the remaining centers. 

Danzy shut down from March to May of 2020, and when she reopened, a quarter of her staff left. 

She says there’s already a smaller pool of applicants to choose from with less people studying early childhood education, and more workers wanting at-home jobs. 

Danzy plans to offer incentives like sign on bonuses,that other owners say are not realistic for them. 

“Our money is strapped to the point as it is. I would rather put that money into the employees that are here now as opposed to people we don’t know who come here just to get the bonus then leave in a couple of weeks or months,” said Shelica Ingram, owner at Lafrees Academy of Higher Learning. 

She needs at least two more full time teachers and says background checks are also taking longer. 

“On a good week, it could take about a week, and you could have an answer in about a week if they have a pretty decent background. Now its taking between two and three weeks,” Ingram said. 

Directors know families are frustrated. They’re asking for patience as they work to open up more spots and manage costs. 

“Parents are likely to see an increase in tuition as we move to the end of 2021 and into 2022 and beyond. We’re all going to have to climb out of the mess of debt left by COVID,” Danzy said. 

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