GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) – As people return to work in person, daycare centers in Indiana fill up. However, some say they can’t find enough staff, partly blaming current unemployment benefits, which are about to change in Indiana.
Erin Sinders with daughter Hannah
In the meantime, some parents said they couldn’t work because of a lack of childcare. Daycare centers admit that the price of childcare and the payment of these workers is also part of the problem.
“It’s this vicious circle. I need care, but I also need a job. But I can’t afford care. I don’t have a job, but I can’t get a job unless someone is watching my child, ”said Erin Sinders, director of Adventures Childcare and Learning Center in Greenwood.
Sinders is a mother herself and said that parents are currently having a hard time looking after their children.
“We are licensed for 161 and full. I mean, we have waiting lists for over a year, ”said Sinders.
That waiting list includes the nursery, although recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the birth rate has declined during the pandemic.
Now that more and more people are back to work in person, finding employees is the newest problem.
“We have to freeze the registration because we cannot find any employees. We cannot find qualified personnel, ”said Sinders.
Sinders points out the current unemployment benefit.
“I can’t tell you how many applications we get … But I can tell you that we hardly have any interviews because they apply and they never show them,” said Sinders.
That could change on June 1, when Governor Eric Holcomb’s new executive order begins. This means that people receiving unemployment benefits must show that they are actively looking for work and submit a weekly job search report. The governor also said that starting June 19, Indiana will end its expanded federal unemployment benefits program.
However, according to day care centers, the problem goes deeper than just unemployment benefits.
“Pay. This is not an industry where you get paid well. It just isn’t. And that’s why we’re really looking for that passion,” said Sinders.
According to the latest data from the Early Childhood Workforce Index, the median wage for childcare workers in Indiana is $ 10.31 an hour. This means that daycare workers compete with retail or fast food jobs for pay, depending on their education.
However, childcare is expensive and can cost parents more than their mortgage. If day care centers raise the price of higher wages, parents may not be able to afford it. We are leaving our most prized possessions in this vicious cycle.
“I want to say that there is hope, but part of that is if you have kids and you need care and you can’t find care, how are you supposed to apply for jobs or interview for jobs?” asked Sinders. “We can’t bankrupt our parents. It’s this vicious circle that I need care, but I need people who can provide care. “
While federal funds have helped these day care centers stay afloat during the pandemic, they said childcare facilities will still need government help and funding after this health crisis.
Parents looking for childcare options in Indiana can take advantage of government funding here.