Childcare and nanny shortage impacting Colorado parents and kids

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — With parents going back to the office full-time, or even working remotely a few days a week, there’s a huge need for help with their kids.

Unfortunately, it might be tough to find, given massive staffing shortages at child care centers.

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, roughly 80% of Colorado’s child care centers are experiencing staffing shortages right now.

The data shows 47% of programs impacted by staffing shortages are serving fewer children now, 34% have a longer waitlist, 40% are unable to open their classrooms completely and 26% have reduced their operating hours.

Because of this, experts in the realm of childcare say alternate options are being sought by Coloradans as they head back to the office, including nanny and babysitter help.

Problem is: many of them are dealing with staffing shortages too.

“I would say it’s been more difficult to hire nannies and babysitters than it’s been in my 20 year career. I’ve never had a more challenging time,” said Jami Dennis, owner of College Nannies & Sitters of Denver, Boulder & Fort Collins.

To lure in new employees for her in-home care business, Dennis has been offering higher salaries and more incentives.

In the meantime, getting your child on a waitlist could be timely.

“If you’re looking for in-home childcare, we used to say it would take 2-4 weeks, we’re now quoting 4-6 depending sometimes longer depending on the schedule and location. And center-based care takes even longer,” Dennis said.

According to College Nannies & Sitters of Denver, Boulder & Fort Collins, right now sitters are charging $20-$35 an hour depending on their experience and education level.

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