Child care facilities running at full capacity, leaving parents in a bind

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As more schools let out for summer it’s time for many parents to make decisions about child care. Often the choice is between some sort of daycare facility or summer camp. But this year some families are finding they don’t have a choice at all.

At the YMCA Steiner Branch, they say they’re running at full capacity right now. That’s the case with many places around our area. It’s leaving parents with a tough decision on what to do with their kids.

Summer camps and childcare facilities across our area all look and sound like this right now. Of the handful of places we looked into they’re all running at full capacity and many parents say it’s the same everywhere they look.

“All I see is long waiting lists and people are waiting for months,” said a CSRA parent.

With two kids, one on the way, and her husband in the military not being able to find childcare is keeping her away from work.

“We would like to go to work. We don’t just consider ourselves moms but if you feel like your kids are not in good hands and they have to be there all day you’re not really willing to sacrifice their well-being,” she said.

Places like the YMCA Steiner Branch in Columbia County is just one of many places running at full capacity.

“We didn’t know what to expect. We were hoping and we’ve been pleasantly surprised. All of our camps here in Columbia County are full. We do have waitlists for the weeks,” said Craig Miracle, YMCA District Vice President.

They say staffing was a big issue during the pandemic and over the past few months. Now they’ve even had to bring in more people to accommodate the number of kids they’re seeing.

“Challenges we had were making sure we were ready with staffing, which we were, ready with supplies and other things that go with that and making sure our kids are safe and having fun,” said Miracle.

But even with extra slots open many parents are still left on the waiting list hoping for the best.

“But there’s tons of other families that rely on both parents to be able to go to work but they can’t because their kids can’t go to childcare,” said a CSRA parent.

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