Workers and parents react to rise in childcare costs

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Childcare workers say they have felt the impacts the pandemic has had on staffing shortages firsthand.

“We are hurting for them,” Ida Faison, Children’s Castle daycare supervisor said. “So in order to get them… you’ve got to up your pay. And then of course you know you want to try to get ones that have education, and experience, and you have to pay for it. It’s not cheap.”

Parents say their pockets are stretched thin as a result of staffing shortages and inflation.

“I just went [to] the store for her milk and I was like ‘whoa milk is crazy,’” said Lydia Joassin, parent and childcare worker at Children’s Castle said.

Research from the Economic Policy Insitute shows the average annual cost of infant care in North Carolina is $9,480. That is more than the cost of tuition and fees at East Carolina University.

After being a stay-at-home mom, Joassin says she started working at the daycare to help offset the rising costs of childcare.

“Childcare expenses were a major thing for us… formula diapers, just overall the amount it would be. So I said ‘you know what? Let me work in a daycare, how about that?’” Joassin recalled.

The state Department of Health and Human Services allows parents who may have trouble affording childcare to apply for child subsidies that will help them with childcare costs based on their household income per child and other situational criteria.

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