This past Tuesday, WMUR ran a piece about how hard it is to get Daycare for the little ones. I can commiserate as TMEW and I own and ran such a center back in the early ‘naughts. I wanted our own business, TMEW had the degrees, and that meant we could supply our own afterschool care for the Eldest and the Youngest. We took over an all-but-failed center and built it up to be one of the best known in the area. Yes, our waiting list grew in size with our growing reputation.
Now, with COVID, things got a lot worse with respect to open slots and employees; there still is trouble in that industry. However, I’d NEVER try to restart a center nowadays. Not that I didn’t like handling all of the back of house stuff not directly to serving the kids – that’s what TMEW did and it was her forte. The kids (we were licensed for just under 50) all loved her as once she came into the building, they’d all flock to see her (while their teachers went “yep, she did it again”. She just had that magical touch.
But I digress. What caught my ear was someone who is in our situation in raising a grandchild. Her name was given as Nora and both she and her grandchild are much younger than we are which is probably why the piece quotes her saying:
Just ask Nora from Northfield who has Guardianship of her seven month old grandson:
They had waiting lists that were a year plus, one of them was two years. That’s shocking to me.
When we took the Grandson home from the hospital after DCYF pleaded with us to be the “family caregivers” when he was released from the Neonatal ICE. We never had any intention of placing him in a center – WE took on that responsibility. We also had the ability to do so as TMEW was not in the workforce – he became her fulltime job. I am assuming that Nora did not have that same situation and so it IS hard for her and many others.
The difference, like in so many industries, is staffing. They ay have the physical space but not the workforce to cover those slots. Discovery Child Enrichment Center in Portsmouth has the capacity to take in 150 children but because of staffing issues and meeting the adult to children ratio, it can only accept 75.
Crompton was right – there are State mandated staff to child ratios: from 4 to 1 for infants and then wider ratios as the kids get older. But even back then, it was a problem and a BIG problem for smaller centers like ours as when a teacher is not available, it is hard to shift resources/kids around. It CONTINUES to be a Big Bad thing if you are caught being “out of ratio” by the State. It was one thing if a teacher suddenly called in sick five minutes before opening and none of your back-up subs were available – it is another thing to run so deliberately over some length of time but the State didn’t care – you get a violation. Too many, you’re out of business. But in talking about regulations hampering slots, this and the square footage needed per child are impediments opening up new slots.
Now, as they often seem to do, after the initial showing, WMUR edits down what they first show a package and this was no different. Read what was missing in the clip at the link above – I had DVR’d their 5/10 News 9 at 5 as this next part really caught my ear – and flipped my attitude towards “Nora in Northfield”:
…That was shocking to me. You know, childcare really feels like a.., you know, an essential service that needs to be present in communities for people to go about their normal day to day, go to work, and make sure that their families are supported.
I can take that several different ways. The least offensive is that somebody can get to work and feed their family; that I understand.
Sorry, I’m old school – it used to be families that took care of the kids. We’re seeing this, like many other aspects of life, not all that distant in the past, moving from “we shall provide for ourselves” to being “YOU should provide for ME and my needs”.
No, Nora, if your idea of a woman is only that she can do as she pleases and that her finest example of being is in the workplace, I will disagree. I know it is hard if you are a single Mom (and we always such clients a priority over others who just wanted socialization for their children). When you start saying “an essential service”, I hear “Government should do this for me”.
Just like the Democrats and the Teacher Unions keep yammering that Government should be caring for your kids, childcare through pre-K, through K-12, take care of their medical needs, feed them year round, clothing….I think you know where I’m going with this: Whose children are they really? Even if from a de facto standard?
The post Is WMUR willing to lower the cost of your Daycare and make it more available? I didn’t think so… appeared first on Granite Grok.
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