Morrow County Children Services Administrator, Sharla O’Keeffe spoke about the need for childcare providers at a recent meeting with Morrow County Commissioners. With more families having two working parents and more single parent families, there is an ever growing need for childcare in homes and childcare centers.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 2014 labor force participation rate of 64.2 percent for mothers of children under six years old. Mothers with infants under one year old are back to work at a rate of 57.1 percent. And for mothers with children six to 17, the labor force participation rate is 74.7 percent.
Morrow County Family and Children Services staff member, Windy Rose said there is a great need for childcare providers in Morrow County. Licensed home providers (called Type B Home Providers) can accept up to six children in their home at one time. There are currently nine licensed home providers and three licensed childcare centers in the county. There is only one home provider that has full-time openings to accept a child for care at this time. Some of the homes have only a few part time spots left.
“I see the need for childcare all the time,” Rose said who gets calls from parents that they can’t find child care. It also means that choices for childcare are presently limited in Morrow County.
The three childcare centers are also full and one has a waiting list at this time. Current Morrow County licensed childcare centers are: Karen’s Kids near Cardinal Center, which has 52 children and will be expanding when its new building is completed; Gilead Christian that has a capacity for 144 children; and Whetstone Childcare Center that has 50 to 100 children.
There are many families in Morrow County that pay from their own funds for childcare and there are 108 families that accept publicly funded childcare for 168 children in childcare homes and centers in the county.
The centers open as early as 6 a.m. and close as late as 6:30 p.m. to accommodate working parent schedules. There are only three home providers that provide 24 hour care.
Rose said the need for licensed child care providers in Morrow County is very pressing. To become a licensed home provider it is necessary for all household members to pass background checks, have a physical exam and complete health and safety training. A high school diploma or GED is required as well as current CPR and First Aid training. For more information about becoming a licensed childcare provider contact Windy Rose at 419-949-2617 or [email protected].
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