PHOENIX (3TV / CBS 5) – Alma Cortes is the principal of Faith Lutheran Preschool, but recently she is back in class. It’s a role she hasn’t taken on for years, but it’s a necessity now due to the lack of staff at the school.
“We were up to 15 before the pandemic … and right now we have eight,” Cortes said. In a Perfect World, Cortes says they would hire eight more people, but despite a raise and a $ 500 signing bonus, they can’t get people in.
âWe find people who apply, we go through the interview process and when it’s time to start something happens and they decide not to do it,â Cortes said.
The childcare sector still lacks 10% of its workforce, according to the Ministry of Labor.
Olga Fernandez is one of the lucky ones and despite an eventful search, she was able to place her daughter in a daycare after the families withdrew at the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately for some of his friends who had children a little later, they are stuck waiting.
âI have certainly spoken to other people right now who have nowhere to go,â Fernandez said.
Cortes says they’ve turned down around 15 families over the past two months because they don’t have the staff to support the new children. However, refusing families is like refusing money. âIt hurt us financially,â Cortes added.
Another ripple effect of the child care shortage is the 1.6 million mothers with children under 17 who have not returned to the workforce. Federal agencies attribute some of this to women who have no one to look after their children.