Childcare centers say help is desperately needed

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Many families across the Stateline struggled to find childcare during the pandemic.

Specialists say the need for a place to safely send kids during the work day has only gotten greater.
We caught up with local daycare facilities, who tell us their biggest challenge now is finding workers.

Parents rely on daycares to watch their kids when they go to work or need a break. But one local daycare tells me COVID has made it increasingly difficult to be fully staffed

“You know, it’s been tough,” said Sarah Renicker, the executive director for the YMCA Children’s Learning Center.

Finding childcare can be a struggle for parents, but many daycares are struggling to find workers right now.

“But what Covid did was really highlight how critical it is that we have really qualified staff to be able to care for children. So what’s happened is, without having qualified applicants we can’t fill our positions, if we can’t fill our positions we can’t fill our classrooms,” said Renicker.

Souy Detwiler works as a flight attendant and relies on daycare when she travels and her husband has to work. She is experiencing the difficulties of finding daycare for her kids firsthand.

“If parents can’t put their kids in daycare, they can’t provide for their kids, period. They have to put their kids somewhere so they can go to work to make money,” Detwiler said.

Detwiler advises parents dealing with the issue to do their research.

“To trust people with their kids that’s 100% of what parents go through. I mean, you have to trust someone with your kids 8 hours a day. So find someone that you could trust,” said Detwiler.

YMCA Children’s Learning Center in Rockford has a wait list of kids, but without qualified applicants they can’t take them in.

“The current staff, they’re tired. They’re tired. They’ve been carrying this burden for a year and, you know. We’ve all gotten to that point where we’ve hit that wall and it’s just pushing through and being able to say, ‘Hey, we know our community needs this service. We want to try and provide it as best we can,'” Renicker added.

If you are interested in joining their team, click here. Officials say the process typically takes two weeks.

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