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Parents being turned away as Omaha child care providers face staffing shortages

Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 19:33:34-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Across the country, businesses are struggling to hire people and it's affecting child care in a big way.

Two local facilities — the Early Childhood Center at King of Kings Church and Creative Beginnings Children's Academy — say the staffing shortage is unlike anything they've ever seen.

"We're not getting even interviews, anybody walking into the building for an interview or on Indeed, or any of the other hiring platforms," Creative Beginnings Director Jesenia Corral said. "We're like, 'What's going on, we can't hire unless it's somebody recommended from a family.' So it's been really hard."

Corral has not hired a full-time employee in over three months. Her business is located near 180th and Harrison.

"I have never experienced anything like this. We always, we always start our year with one or two teachers short. By a month, we figure it out," Corral said. "Right now, we are three full-time employees short."

Ronda Schramm, the Director for the Early Childhood Center at King of Kings Church, is facing the same struggle. The facility is located near 120th and I Streets.

"We run ads through Indeed, through ZipRecruiter, through different places. We get applications. When we call and I set up interviews, people just don't show up," Schramm said.

Schramm admits offering competitive wages can be a challenge when talking to candidates.

"Average wage here is between 12 and 15, sometimes it depends on the education...also more," Schramm said. "People with no experience or no education want at least $15 an hour and we understand, but that's beyond our budget sometimes with somebody with no education."

Not having enough staff on hand stretches resources thin.

"It means I have staff who work overtime, extra hours, have to come in early, stay late. It also affects my budget because if they are staying overtime and work overtime hours, then I have to pay," Schramm said.

"We haven't been able to sign in any new families. I have families calling me all the time for spots and I say I can't," Corral said.

Corral operates a family-owned business, making a plea to anyone who wants to contribute.

"I really hope families or people in the workforce that are staying home come out and start working because that's the only way we're going to get this economy going," Corral said.

Creative Beginnings has 6 job openings — three are full-time positions and three are part-time. King of Kings has three openings.

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