Letter: Invest in daycare, for North Dakota’s kids
The current climate of early childhood is one of low pay, little to no benefits and very high turnover. Sounds like just the job you’re looking for, right?
As the director of Community Church Child Care in Bismarck, I see first hand how the child care crisis is impacting both providers and families.
I am, yet again, in the middle of a hiring process at my center. My previous hiring phase was six months ago. I had over 100 applicants, was in contact with 68 of them, managed to schedule interviews with a dozen or so, had six of them not show at the interview, hired four and had two of those no-show either the background check or their first day of work. Of the two left, one is still with me and the other has moved on to another daycare program.
The current climate of early childhood is one of low pay, little to no benefits and very high turnover. Sounds like just the job you’re looking for, right? Sounds like the kind of job you would encourage your children and grandchildren to pursue, right? On average, a child care worker makes $11.19 in North Dakota with no benefits.
Child care is arguably one of the most vital careers, laying the foundation for our future society. Yet the pay scale reflects an entry level position at best. We must put resources into valuing this career path. I am in a unique situation for a program and so funds are more available to pay my teachers better, but I am still in competition with fast food restaurants for starting pay. We need SB 2301 to create a child care stabilization program to ensure the best and brightest are caring for our children.
What our children need to be successful as they enter school and eventually the workforce is meaningful human connection with adults who are well trained, who know they are doing valuable work, and most importantly who deeply care for the children in their care and believe that they can make a lasting difference in a child’s life. The child care stabilization provided by SB 2310 is what we need to address this crisis. It’s an investment in our future – the children.