SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The booming economy is creating unintended consequences across the state, and working parents are having a hard time finding childcare.
“This is a real child care crisis for Sacramento and for any working family,” said City Councilman Eric Guerra.
He knows this from experience, waiting 16 months to find it for his son downtown.
“After the second call, I was freaking out like, ‘Oh my God it is a two-year waitlist,'” he said after making calls when his son was still in the womb.
Another city worker’s son was born six months ago and he’s still on a list.
“There is still a wait, so right now my family is taking care of my baby,” said Carol Jaimes with Sac City.
Daycares say there’s no time to wait.
“Right away, basically when you find out you want to start looking, for us typically we are about a year out,” said Bethel Rusch who runs The Phoenix Schools downtown. “On the list, I could probably have about 100.”
With more people working, it’s just harder to find care.
“There’s been a really big baby boom and that’s where I’d say most people have the longest waits when they find out their having a baby looking for care and can’t get in,” she said.
Births have actually declined nationwide since 2014, and 2017 saw the fewest babies born in the United States in the past 30 years. 3.83 million babies were born in 2017.
In California, the birth rate dropped even more. The fewest number of babies were born in 2017 in 100 years. A total of 471,552 babies were born in California last year.
As for child care, city leaders are calling it a crisis.
“We have a 2,200 waiting list for infants just in Sacramento County,” Guerra said.
He believes the city needs to do more to help working parents looking for daycare.
“After the economic crisis, a lot of the childcare facilities closed down and we found the scarcity and available childcare,” he said.
Another issue is strict government staffing issues which require one adult per four infants.
A harsh reality for another working mom to be.
“I’m six months pregnant now with our first child and I haven’t gotten on any waitlist,” said Azia Cherry of Sacramento.
Many parents tired of a waiting game hoping to find solutions soon.
Councilman Guerra is starting a round of community meetings with parents and developers to talk about the needs and to strategize a plan.
- Know your rights as a Family Child Care Provider & Listening session on Saturday, August 4th at 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in Russian and English at Child Action (9800 Old Winery Place, Sacramento)
- Know your rights as a Family Child Care Provider & Listening session on Saturday, August 4th at 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Spanish and English at Child Action (9800 Old Winery Place, Sacramento)
- Parents Listening session on Wednesday, September 12th at 6 p.m. at the Coloma Community Center’s Gold Run room
- Business and Developer Listening session TBD in the middle of August.
- Childcare hearting set for Wednesday, October 24th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Sacramento City Council chambers