Child Care Centers Report ‘Staffing Crisis’ Due to Pandemic
Child care centers are calling it a “staffing crisis.” Many daycare centers are so short staffed that they’re turning away children because they don’t have enough people to care for them. Cases of COVID-19 and exposures to the virus that causes the disease are largely to blame for the shortage.
Little Folks Daycare in Crystal is among the facilities feeling the staffing crunch.
“Child care is already a challenge and now we have a new challenge this week,” said Steph Hanna, owner and director of Little Folks Daycare.
Hanna says staffing at her center was down 25 percent on Tuesday because of COVID.
“I’m covering one of our positive cases, one of our staff that’s out this week. She’s already boosted and tested positive,” said Hanna.
For now, teachers at Little Folks are rotating from room to room covering where needed.
“We have an amazing staff so they’ve been super helpful and everybody’s is being flexible and helping out where they need to,” Hanna said.
A recent survey of more than 7,500 child care centers across the country found worker shortages in nearly every state, with some as high as 90 percent.
According to updated CDC guidance, people who test positive for COVID-19 can return to work after five days if they’re boosted and don’t have any symptoms. Minnesota Department of Health guidelines still call for a 10-day isolation period.
Daycare officials hope the differences in guidelines can be rectified.
“We’re licensed by the state of Minnesota and the Department of Health hasn’t changed their daycares quite yet,” said Hanna. “So we’re still under a 10-day quarantine.”
The CDC says the majority of COVID transmissions generally happen one to two days before someone gets symptoms and two to three days after someone experiences symptoms. The federal agency says people who leave isolation after five days from a positive test should wear a well-fitting mask for the next five days to minimize the risk of infecting others.
Today, @CDCgov released updates to shorten the recommended time for #COVID19 isolation and quarantine. People are maximally infectious 1-2 days before symptom onset & 2-3 days after. This science & protection provided by vaccination & boosters informed the updated recommendation. https://t.co/iU7btjjy4K
— Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) December 27, 2021