ST. PAUL, Minn. — Research shows that rural Minnesota is seeing a shortage of day care options.
The Center for Rural Policy and Development found the northern and central parts of the state are particularly affected, Minnesota Public Radio reported . The research estimates that roughly 2,500 children in the northwestern part of the state can’t get the day care they need.
The center found that small in-home day cares are closing at a rapid rate. The state has seen a 25 percent drop in such facilities over the past 12 years.
Deja Quint of Bemidji is searching for a day care for the baby she’s about to have. She’s called at least 50 providers in the past few months but hasn’t found any with vacancies.
“The soonest opening I could find is in October, if I’m lucky,” she said. “I can’t wait that long.”
Quint has three jobs and she’ll be forced to quit all but one if she doesn’t find an available day care.
Infant care is the hardest to find, said Amanda Theisen, who runs Little Duck’s Day Care in Blackduck.
“I have five people on my infant waiting list,” she said. “And I get calls every week.”
The state highly regulates day cares and limits the amount of children a facility can take at a time.
Anderson Fabrics in Blackduck is seeing the impacts of the day care shortage, according to Steve Cochems, the company’s president. He’s struggling to find available workers.
“We have employees that aren’t able to get day care,” he said. “People who have a child, and are not able to continue working.”
Larger day care centers are beginning to fill the gap in the Twin Cities, but those centers aren’t as common in rural areas. Larger facilities tend to have more overhead so they’re typically more expensive than in-home care.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org