Families are running out of options when it comes to finding child care in Broome County.
Last Summer, the Endicott Boys and Girls Club shut down. Then, earlier this month, the Binghamton Jewish Community Center had its license revoked after a gun was found in the school.
Days later, Future Faces of Binghamton was shut down for multiple violations.
"It's incredibly hard for parents to find quality child care. As minimum wage has increased annually for the past few years, we've seen it's really hard for centers to keep up with those costs," said Young Wonders Early Childhood Center Program Director Laura Gates-Weeks.
The JCC was fined $4,500 and will be under strict monitoring from the Office of Children and Family Services.
Future Faces in Binghamton, on the other hand, is shut down indefinitely. Directors of other child care programs say they're often held to much higher standards. Simple human mistakes, such as stepping out of a room for even seconds, can result in a violation.
Staffing shortages have also posed issues.
"Most centers can't afford to pay their staff benefits, and there are regulatory compliances that we have to uphold regarding background clearances, which is a good thing to keep children safe, but they are costly for organizations," said Gates-Weeks.
There is currently a waiting list on nearly every child care provider in Broome County. Directors recommend parents read reviews and go to the OCFS website before applying.
"They should schedule a tour. They should do internet research to find good questions to ask about the safety and how the center specifically follows regulatory policie," said Gates-Weeks.
Future Faces has has four months to appeal the decision. The JCC will be allowed to operate.