Southeast Michigan daycares are getting extra help from their local Michigan Works! offices in a context of continued staff shortages.
Together they are hosting a virtual childcare industry job fair to help find new employees.
The Executive Director of Southeast Michigan Works! says not having daycare prevents parents from returning to the workforce, so the regional job fair will help more than just the childcare industry.
“It’s been tough, it’s been very stressful,” said Candice Sproat, owner of two Kiddie Klub locations in Oakland County.
Sproat says it has been difficult to find staff. Currently, each location has approximately 10 open positions.
“We will have 15 interviews scheduled over one day. Maybe half of them show up; of the half that show up, I hope half of them qualify,” Sproat said.
Kiddie Klub isn’t alone – that’s why Five Michigan Works! area agencies and the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity are hosting an industry job fair.
“Last fall, we went through a wave where we had to close some of our rooms every day, just because we didn’t have enough staff to keep them full with state ratios,” said Sproat.
Related: Michigan Governor Whitmer Proposes Increased School Funding, Bonuses and Tax Cuts
Michigan works! in Oakland County is taking its support for the industry one step further by providing child care scholarships to families using grant money.
A mother of two, Ashley Hodge is one of the scholarship winners. She said she was paying $275 a week for childcare for her son Grayson.
“Every week. I felt it,” Hodge said.
Michigan works! in Oakland County says it still has plenty of money for families, but interested families should apply for the scholarships. Applications are open to families in Oakland County only, and can be found on the county website here.
The virtual job fair will be held on Tuesday, February 15. There will be about 100 different employers from 10 different counties, officials said. Employers can still register.
Those interested in the job fair should register in advance by calling their nearest Michigan Works! office or call 800-285-WORKS.
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