HINGHAM (CBS) â As parents return to the office, day care centers are facing staffing shortages.
âThe last two weeks have been rough,â said Charlotte McLaughlin, owner of Stepping Stone Learning Center in Hingham. âWe are trying the best we can do with what is being presented to us at this time.âREAD MORE: Red Line Train Derails At Broadway MBTA Station
As more people get vaccinated and return to work, many day cares are being inundated with requests for childcare but not enough workers to staff their facilities safely.
âWe donât have the staffing,â McLaughlin said. âStaffing is our hugest enemy right now.â
Before COVID, McLauglin had 15 on her staff.
âRight now we have nine. And they are overworked, theyâre underpaid. They are stressed to the max,â McLaughlin said.READ MORE: Andrea Campbell Seeking Commitments Before Endorsing Mayoral Candidate
Another big challenge is finding qualified, dependable applicants.
âMany applicants are applying but not coming to the interview, theyâre not calling me back,â McLaughlin said.
At Stepping Stone, there are 34 families on the waiting list. Parents are calling every day hoping for a spot for their child. McLaughlin says thereâs just simply not enough staff to accommodate. The other things she had to cut back on are her operating hours.
âParents are stressed, we have parents daily asking me for changes in hours and unfortunately thatâs one of the things we canât accommodate right now and I feel terrible,â McLaughlin said.
But one thing sheâs proud of is her refusal to compromise the safety of the children.MORE NEWS: Inspired By Mother, NH Teacher Running Virtual Boston Marathon For Stepping Strong Center
âI need qualified, hardworking, reliable staff members that love their job of working with children that are going to come in and nurture these families like theyâre their own,â McLaughlin said.