Region facing childcare shortage: 'There were just no spots'

Two sisters are opening a child care center in Eyota to help with the problem.

Posted: Mar 29, 2018 1:02 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - A lack of child care is a problem communities across the area are facing.

Members of Sen. Tina Smith's staff met with child care providers, advocates, and parents to try to find a solution to the problem, specifically for what southern Minnesota is seeing. One discussion piece was in-home child care versus child care centers.

Trisha King and Tracy Krucker are sisters, and taking action to help solve the problem after experiencing it firsthand.

"My sister owns an in-home daycare," Krucker said, "and when I was pregnant, I couldn't even have my infant go there because she was full and had stayed full. There were just no spots."

That's why they're opening their own center in Eyota, Little Eagles Childcare Center, located at 417 2nd Street SW.

"I couldn't even commit to a job because I didn't have the daycare for my infant," Krucker said, "so that was kind of my final motivation to like jump in and see what we can do to alleviate the problem."

Smith is supporting the "Child Caree for Working Families Act," which aims to make childcare across the nation more affordable and accessible. Her staff is also traveling around to different communities to hear how they're being affected by the problem. 

"Businesses are having to make tough decisions because you know they can't recruit employees because employees can't find child care," Bree Maki, Sen. Tina Smith's southern Minnesota outreach director, said, "but not only that, families are really having to also make decisions on child planning for their own families."

It's a problem that will take many to solve.

"Multiple people in different areas all coming together to figure out why, how, you know where do we go from here," King said. 

King and Krucker said instead of thinking of their center as competing, they said it's an additional option.

"They [in-home daycare] had wait lists and people that couldn't find care as well," Krucker said, "and they knew that a lot of their families weren't going to leave to necessarily come to a center."

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