Local parents struggling to find childcare amid nationwide shortage

NOW: Local parents struggling to find childcare amid nationwide shortage

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The childcare shortage is not only an issue nationally. Here in South Bend, parents are also struggling. 

"Daycare programs are really expensive or already full, so everywhere I looked they couldn’t take me," said Victoria Archaga, a mother and South Bend resident.

Archaga is one of the many parents having problems finding affordable daycare because of limited space and skyrocketing costs.

"For two kids it's like $500 a week, it so expensive, it's not even worth working, all the money would go to daycare," she said.

And while school is an option for older children, those under age five can be harder to place.

"Even if we could get in, like everywhere is full, because ages in between preschool and newborn, there's nowhere to go," said Archaga.

Lyrica McBride, a program director at Bright Beginnings Childcare on South Main Street in South Bend, agreed with Archaga.

"We do have a waiting list, our infant room fills up fast, people are having babies and need childcare," said McBride. 

Experts say the pandemic forced many daycare centers to close and that reduced slots nationwide.

Although their infant rooms fill up fast, McBride does recommend parents keep scheduling tours with multiple childcare facilities to secure a spot when one does open.

She also recommended looking at a state of Indiana website, Paths to Quality, when checking out daycare centers.

"It's a really good thing to look for when looking for childcare, not saying the other ones are not great, but that’s one that you know they are putting in the work to make sure they are having good-quality care," said McBride.

One childcare center that says they do have openings is Raising Kings and Queen's Daycare Ministry, on Lincolnway West in South Bend. 

"Raising Kings and Queens Daycare Ministry is 24 hours, and we are here to help raise your village, so let us be a part of your village," said Michelle Martin, owner of the daycare.

Martin is a mom herself who knows how important it is to feel comfortable and confident in those you trust with your kids.

"So being a mother, in this community, I know it's hard for us to decide whether to stay home or to look for a daycare, and that’s why we opened up Raising Kings and Queens Ministry, so you don’t have to decide, you bring them to us, we take care of them and we'll treat them as our own," she said.

Share this article: