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Finding school aged child care as online learning begins

School aged child care
Posted at 9:27 AM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 19:31:51-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) -- For many families, a virtual start to the school year has put them in a tough position.

Parents need to work, and kids need to learn. That combination has put a focus on school aged child care to start this school year.

Some families have found their solution. January Wright, a Green Bay mother of four, has three kids learning at the 'Y Learning Academy' at the Ferguson Family YMCA.

“This is able to get me back to working because with the schools being out, I wanted a home setting so the kids could continue to have that structure," Wright said. "Now that they’re here, it’s great. The stress level has gone down tremendously. I’m smiling again.”

Leaders at the YMCA say they're improving the learning experience as the year starts to unfold.

“Every day has gotten better and better and we really are starting to feel the swing of it and the routine and really having a good time with it," youth, teen, and family director Shannon Haggerty said. "We’re really having a lot of fun. It’s been an incredible opportunity for us.”

However, the YMCA's programs are full. There are families on the waiting list, and others in our area are looking for school aged child care.

“There’s just not enough slots of school aged child care out there," Family and Child Care Resources of Northeast Wisconsin executive director Paula Breese said.

Breese and her team are working with parents in the area to find options that work. Parents can call Family and Child Care Resources, and staff there can help them find what programs or facilities might have openings that would be a good fit.

“We have all the regulated child care programs in our database, licensed groups, licensed family, and certified family," Breese said. "So if somebody is looking for child care you can call our office, and we do a free referral, do a little interview, find out what you’re looking for.”

Breese said one of the issues is that child care centers are having trouble finding the staff needed to increase capacity.

The team at the 'Y Learning Academy' said they could expand with additional staff. Many families there have found a place that works for them. Others are continuing to look for help.

“We hope that we can do more as always for the community," Haggerty said.