The child care shortage in Minot is about to get worse.
The YWCA Early Learning Center will be closing in late September.
Executive director Debra Kunkel says it was not an easy decision, but a child care facility is only financially stable with 60 children or more.
The YWCA recently relocated and only has room to be licensed for 44.
Although a rate increase was considered, the board determined that the rate increase necessary to make the center cash flow would not be economically viable for most families.
(Debra Kunkel, YWCA Executive Director) "In order to continue our mission of assisting with the homeless women in our shelter and supportive housing, we need to keep them running too."
Child Care Resource and Referral is trying to cushion the surprise closure.
Program supervisor Kristi Asendorf (OZ-en-dorf) says while it directly impacts children, parents and staff --- a child care shortage affects the community as a whole.
(Kristi Asendorf, Child Care Resource & Referral Program Supervisor) "There needs to be some intervention by someone else in order to make a difference in order to help these programs be viable because if they're not viable, there's a trickle down effect. We know, we stand in line at stores and part of that reason is because people don't have child care and they can't hire people. In the end, even if you don't have children, it does really affect you."
YWCA Minot will be exploring options to open a larger, self-sustaining child care facility in the future to continue its mission to provide affordable day care.
Other YWCA programs will continue as normal.