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KSNF: Pittsburg struggling with child care capacity

December 1, 2017

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KSNF: Pittsburg struggling with child care capacity

December 1, 2017

 

If you think finding adequate daycare, especially for infants, is only a parent problem, think again.  It can have a big impact of the local economy.

 

Business, education and civic leaders met on the campus of Pittsburg State on Friday for the purpose of trying to solve a problem: the lack of enough high quality child care providers.

 

This issue isn't just a problem for single parents or working parents some believe it will actually impede economic development. When parents can't find a daycare for their kids, someone has to stay home and take care of them. Thusly taking more adults out of the workforce, making it harder for employers to fill openings.

 

And State Representative Monica Murnan says it's not just a Southeast Kansas problem.

Monica Murnan, Ks. State Representative 3rd District, (D): "The quality of your child care capacity in a community has a direct impact on economic development outcomes, just like we know education and roads and infrastructure resources are, we know now that child care is now actually a piece of infrastructure." 

 

Ann Elliott is the executive director of the largest childcare provider in Pittsburg, the Family Resource Center. They have a capacity of 338, but even they have a waiting list of about a hundred and twenty.

 

Ann Elliott, Executive Director, Family Resource Center: "Most facilities whether you're a home provider or a center, have a waiting list of some type and it may be a little bit of a duplicate occasionally, but it's just it's just super hard to find and an infant especially is hard to find."

 

Murnan says there are only seven licensed childcare providers in all of Crawford county and only 50 home based child care providers. She says that's not enough and that the future of the local economy could depend upon that number increasing.

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