PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – After Oregon’s childcare crisis was made worse by the pandemic, a pilot program is aiming to help childcare businesses succeed for families to find affordable care.
Not only did we see childcare facilities close, but the ones that are open now are having trouble hiring enough employees.
An economist for Oregon said employment is still way down overall in the childcare industry compared to other industries, which means there are fewer open childcare spots for parents who need them.
KOIN 6 was told two year wait lists are not unheard of all over the state right now and that every county in Oregon is considered a childcare desert.
“Childcare, particularly in a place like Oregon has been a huge burden for families, the costs are very high the limits, even if you can find a spot it is very, very expensive, and then just finding that open slot for your children in challenging as well,” Josh Lehner, economist with the state of Oregon, said.
Lisa Tynan, director of the Oregon Childcare Alliance explained “if we can help to stabilize the childcare industry, it really hopes to benefit the local economy, it allows parents to return from work, parents to know that they have stable care they can rely on and also we want to look at that quality of care.”
That’s why Oregon Childcare Alliance is starting a pilot program to help in-home childcare providers with free business coaching, financial management software and training for a year.
They’re currently accepting applications in Multnomah, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and hope to expand to other counties soon.