(WGHP0 — In North Carolina, there is only one licensed childcare spot available for every ten kids who need it, and with more people moving to the Triad for new job opportunities, there is concern the childcare crisis will get worse.
The average monthly enrollment in child care this year in Guilford County is at 13,748. It’s one of the highest in the state behind Mecklenburg and Wake Counties. Forsyth County sees an average of more than 5,000.
One Triad mom tells FOX8 she’s been on the hunt for child care since December.
“I’ve called probably 15 different daycares…that’s Greensboro, High Point…the Triad just looking for something,” Raven Drane said. She made all those calls in the last three days.
“There’s been a few that have had available slots, but they’re $350 a week. I would be going to work to pay for daycare,” Drane said.
Drane quit her job in December because she couldn’t find a place for her one-year-old son while her nine-year-old was in school.
“I had to take our oldest son out of school 30 minutes early so he could watch our youngest so I could leave for work until his dad got home. That just isn’t conducive to an education,” Drane said.
Drane is exhausted from the stress of the search and preparing for her third child due in September.
“It’s heart-dropping because outside of daycare, just like anybody else, we have real bills,” Drane said.
From Jan. 2018 to Jan. 2023, the state saw an 11.8% decrease in childcare facilities. Forsyth County lost 30 in that time. Guilford County lost 77.
“It doesn’t seem like a lot but when you didn’t have enough childcare to begin with for families to choose from, it becomes a bigger issue,” said Katura Jackson, executive director with Child Care Resource Center.
Jackson says childcare subsidy vouchers aren’t helping either. Big employers are reaching out to her about adding in-house child care for employees.
“In Forsyth where we don’t have enough childcare, or in Guilford where they don’t have enough childcare, it may come into play in terms of businesses deciding to locate in our communities,” Jackson said.
FOX8 reached out to Toyota, Boom Supersonic and Siemens Mobility, which are three companies with big job announcements in the past few years.
Siemens Mobility sent us this statement:
We are too early in our design process, which only started when our confidentiality agreement was lifted last week, to know what a potential childcare structure could look like. I can tell you that we deeply care about our workers, from the factory floor to software engineers and sales teams, we want to put them in a position to be successful both at work and home. We provide our workforce with good benefits, competitive pay, and many opportunities for advancement and learning new skills.
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