(KERO) — The childcare industry is still struggling to get enough workers and now it's dealing with inflation too. It's causing daycare owners and parents to make tough decisions.
At one nonprofit child care center, their operating costs are up 30 to 35 percent. The rising cost of food, rent, power, supplies, and workers' pay is affecting that.
Now, this fall they'll be raising tuition for the third time in 12 months. It adds up to a 30-percent increase for some families.
"It's happening everywhere. To keep the doors open this is what has to happen, and it's going to continue to get worse," said Cindy Lehnoff of the National Child Care Association.
Nationally, at least 15,000 programs have closed permanently during the pandemic. And there are 11 percent fewer childcare workers than before the pandemic making it even harder to meet demand.
"We just don't have enough teachers to be able to get the amount of children that we used to have into our buildings," said Sean Toner of Beach Babies Child Care.
The median wage for child care workers is just over $13.