Daycare providers are in high demand as school returns

Peckham said she's been working in childcare for many years and thinks this year is different.
Published: Aug. 22, 2020 at 5:56 PM MDT
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BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KEVN) - It’s time to head back to school which means for some parents, it’s also time to head back to work.

“We’re actually having to tell people that we’re full like almost, a couple of times a day telling them that we’re full and stuff,” said Elizabeth Peckham, toddler teacher with Little Owl’s Daycare and Preschool.

Peckham said she's been working in childcare for many years and thinks this year is different.

"I feel like we have a higher demand this year and I don't know if it's because parents had to pull kids out and stuff and now all of a sudden they're trying to get them back and everything, but I've been doing this for like seven years and I feel like this year, definitely a higher demand for childcare," said Peckham.

Child care is always in high demand, but providers said people heading back to work and kids going back to school combined with the fluidity of the virus, helped cause the increase.

"We're trying to prepare ourselves. I mean, we're like everybody else. We just don't know what's going to happen from one day to the next and everybody's confused right now," Sandy Christman, Candyland Child Development Center owner, and director. "The schools are trying to accommodate everybody and so, therefore, we are too."

Christman said their infant rooms have a waiting list as well as their before and after school programs.

“There is a lot of families that work in Rapid City and they have to be to work at a certain time so they either have to wait to take their kids to school or they have to have family members,” said Christman. “Parents can drop them off, we can serve them breakfast, we’ll transport them in the morning to thier school. And then we’ll pick them up and they’ll have thier snack and we’ll have some activities for them until thier parents pick them up.”

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