Daycare centers still facing challenges due to pandemic

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 5:23 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - One Step Further Childcare is licensed to care for up to 81 kids; currently, they’re keeping their center smaller, with only about 56 children coming in for daycare.

“Basically if you can’t bring money in, it’s hard to spend it. You can’t spend what you don’t have,” says Ruben DeJesus, the center’s administrator, who co-owns the facility with his mother, Director Rhonda DeJesus.

“It’s been a challenge to get good staffing in here, quality staffing,” says Rhonda.

The owners say the number of children they would normally have in their care was cut in half due to capacity restrictions last year.

Now that guidelines have changed, they’ve seen an uptick in parents wanting to enroll their kids, but are unable to keep up with the staff they have.

With the high costs of supplies like cleaning products, and renovating their new facility, Rhonda says they’ve needed to get creative to stay afloat and keep families happy without raising the cost of tuition.

“Cutting costs, because we have to, but still trying to make sure the kids have fun and we can equip the staff and everybody can have fun too. You just have to make it work and we’re just praying that things will get better,” she explains. “We haven’t really increased any prices. We need to, to accommodate for our overhead, but if the parents can’t pay it and DSS is not giving us more, we’re kind of stuck.”

Rhonda says on weekends, she trains people who want to work in childcare to get them ready for the workforce. For more information, click here.

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