SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Many parents know the difficulty of finding affordable childcare, especially those who work second and third shifts.
Agencies are working to find answers, but there are a number of factors that go into finding those solutions.
Finding safe affordable childcare at anytime, and especially during extended working hours, can be like finding the perfect puzzle pieces.
Crayons 2 Computers Childcare Center offered second shift childcare at one time.
“We stopped because of DSS rules, we have to have two staff members on the premises at all times, so you’ve got to have at least 10 kids to make it financially feasible and it just didn’t have it to support it,” said Crayons 2 Computers owner Verlene Eaker.
A recent study done by the United Way shows that the need for care is there.
“So there’s a lot of opportunity for families to work second and third shift, but not a lot of opportunities for affordable childcare,” said Heather Witt, Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of the Piedmont.
The Spartanburg Childcare Needs Assessment shows that 79% of unemployed parents said that a ‘lack of second shift and evening childcare keeps them from being employed.’
The study shows that in addition to that, there are other contributing factors that affect ones employment status.
For providers, cost affects the services they can offer, providing childcare services after normal business hours seemed to stretch the budget.
“Once you get into care after one in the morning, it falls into a whole different set of regulations, to where you have to provide the beds, the linens. It’s just a whole different set of rules and it was too much for our type of setting,” said Eaker.
While longer daycare hours would be helpful for many parents, groups like the United Way of the Piedmont are looking for ways to help those who want to work, but can’t afford to punch the clock.
Keeping children while their parents worked second shift made for a long day for students.
“We’d have kids who would go to school, they’d be in school all day, we’d pick them up and bring them back in here at 3:00 and then they’re here from 3:00 until midnight, that’s a long day for them,” said Eaker.
Eaker says she is willing to provide 2nd shift childcare again, if there’s a need near the Gaffney area.