GREENSBORO, N.C. — Child care businesses in the Triad are struggling to find enough qualified staff because workers are looking for higher pay.
What You Need To Know
Child care workers want higher pay, which day care owners cannot afford
Margie Johnson worries her business will be shut down if she can't find employees soon
She hopes that the state can help with funding so that day cares do not have to shut down
Margie Johnson is the owner and director of Johnson's Daycare in Greensboro. Johnson says she has to maintain staff ratios of one trained adult to no more than six to ten pre-schoolers, which comes from the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education. If she doesn't meet those requirements set by the state, her day care could be shut down.
“They’re not trying to be flexible anymore because we have to maintain ratio, child staff ratios, and that means, if I do have spaces available, if I don’t have the teachers, I can’t accept any kids in so that makes it hard for the parents trying to go back to work," Johnson said.
Right now, she has four teachers and 28 students. Due to the shortage, she cannot take any new students and is taking on several roles herself.
“When it comes to my work that I need to turn into the state, it’s kind of difficult because of you have to have the class get the curriculum going, get them laid down after lunch then them give breaks. So it's a busy day everyday for me, but just for me to stay open, I have to jump in and be hands on," Johnson said.
She said she's in need of two teachers right now and is paying them as much as she can afford. She'd like to see the state jump in to help — providing funding to raise pay in the industry. She worries she will have to make difficult decisions if she doesn't find the employees she needs soon.
“I have a great concern about what is happening now with our children, and you need more people like myself so the kids can get what they need for their growth development. We don’t know the environment that the kids are living in, but then they come here, I make sure it’s a warm, clean, nurturing atmosphere so they can grow because after this is school," Johnson added.
According to careerexplorer.com, the average child care worker makes $11.54 per hour, and here in North Carolina, early childhood teachers are required to have at least an associates degree.