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Some Missouri childcare centers adjust to shortage of workers

Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 10:55 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - For many parents, the pandemic and working from home meant an opportunity to save on childcare.

Now, as people are back at work in person, Missouri’s childcare facilities and its employees are feeling the effects.

One center in Jefferson City has been advertising for more help for months. Daycare operators say it’s a national issue because of what the industry pays. At times, it has forced some daycares to close or make tough decisions.

“But when you think that you have four infants, and one staff member can care for four infants if that staff member is making $12 an hour, and we’re open 10 and a half hours a day, just dividing that, just the cost of the staff to the parents is pretty high,” said Donna Scheidt, who has worked at Little Explorers Discovery Center in Jefferson City for 38 years.

Scheidt says the site has to function at a two-thirds capacity to accommodate the decrease in the number of employees.

“Every employee that leaves me, it’s very hard for me to find a replacement,” says Scheidt. “And for some of them, I have not been able to.”

She says she’s kept going because of volunteers who enjoy taking care of children.

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