Struggling to find affordable child care? You’re not alone.

SPOKANE, Wash. — In today’s world, many households have dual incomes, with moms and dads working. That means childcare is essential, and right now, it’s tougher than ever to find and pay for.

There are a couple of issues at play here, and none of them have an easy fix. Quite a few local daycares were simply too busy to talk, but eventually, we found someone who had some insight to share. If you’re in a similar situation, there are a few things you can do to help yourself, and your kids, get ahead.

“Since the beginnings of COVID, there has always been a struggle with childcare and at this point, every place in Spokane that’s in my area, or even outside my area has a waitlist of 40 and 200 children,” Deanna Barber-Myhal explained. She is a mom of two and feels this pain. She says it’s never been this bad.

“It’s so frustrating. I’ve never had… with both my children… I’ve never had to fight so hard to fight somewhere for my child to go and be safe at,” she added.

As District Operator at Papa John’s, her full-time job carries her into the evenings, and her daughter is out of school at 3:00 P.M.

“Every day is a different day. Every day is a different person,” she told us.

Brian Trimble, Executive Director at Herzog Family Center, agreed, it’s a struggle for everyone. He told us that at Herzog, 85% of tuition fees go straight to paying for teachers. Bringing in high-quality teachers is a top priority for them, and in order to do so, they need to be paid fair prices. He explained, that we all want our teachers paid well, but we also want affordable child care, and we can’t have both. Further adding to the issues is the reality that it’s tougher to hire teachers post-pandemic as many people are turning to other careers that pay better, with more flexibility.

Meanwhile, Barber-Myhal is also struggling to find a summer camp for her daughter, “I signed up for the summer YMCA camp, the way we have every other year and then I got the email. Better do it quickly… then, I was waitlisted. I put my application within about an hour of its opening.”

Brian Trimble says, if you know you’re going to need child care, get yourself on a waitlist ASAP (months in advance). For expecting parents, he recommends starting the search immediately. Also, get yourself on as many waitlists as possible, because you never know which one might work out.

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