Newburgh, Ind. (WEHT) — The looming childcare crisis is sneaking up on some families throughout the tri-state again as summer break comes to a close.
Dena Ashenbremer, the owner of Kindergate, says, “As soon as you conceive, you should start looking for childcare”.
At least three childcare centers, including Evansville and Newburgh locations, have closed in the past six months. This is leaving families with nowhere to turn.
“We finally got into a daycare center and after maybe being there for 3 or 4 months, they abruptly closed, leaving us with no childcare,” says Kelsey Huber.
An increase in demand for daycare is causing the waitlist for operational centers to grow. With an increase in demand, comes an increase in prices. Huber says she pays around $430 per week for her two children.
Kindergate, a Newburgh daycare center, says it’s a tough balancing act to decipher costs for childcare versus how much it costs to keep their business running. “Our food costs alone have tripled since Covid,” explains Ashenbremer.
This isn’t just an issue locally, but regionally. A study done in Southern Indiana counties shows that the number of students on the waiting list is 875, which exceeds the number of vacancies that programs have, which is 93.
Erin Emerson, the Executive Director of Perry County Economic Development Corporation says, “I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen it happen in our community. I’ve talked to parents who are having to make unimaginable decisions that they don’t want to make for their family’s future based on their ability to access childcare.”