Investigation Daycare: Some providers have trouble expanding, creating inexpensive programs

Posted at 3:00 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-07 09:43:34-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Parents around Western New York know all too well that finding quality daycare is tough. There are few open spots and even fewer inexpensive programs. Some providers themselves are having some trouble keeping up.

From scooters to stuffed animals, fifteen children of all ages are being cared for by Danielle Kinsman, at Jumped Up Jellybeans in the Town of Tonawanda. It's a daycare without a single violation this year.

"There's limited good quality daycare around now, so I'm trying to help with that," Kinsman said.

>>To see our previous reporting on Jumped Up Jellybeans, click here.

She's looking to expand, but that's proving to be a problem.

"It's frustrating to know I have all my ducks in-a-row, know I have the funding there and to know that there are families that need the care. I'm just kind of waiting on a property to drop," Kinsman said.

Contracts on two other properties have fallen through. Now, she's looking outside of the KenTon neighborhood.

In Buffalo, Tiffany Malone has been able to open her second "ABC Learn and Play", on Masten Avenue. Even she is still finding it hard to keep up with demand.

"A lot of parents who are having children, they notice they need to put their children on the waiting list, before they even have their child because we really don't have a lot of toddler and infant space," Malone said.

That said, she believes spots for infants and toddlers are at a premium, because those rooms don't make as much money as others.

"The market rate for the infant slot is $280, but the cost of care for an infant spot is usually $350, just because of the regulations with the teacher ratios and then having to want to offer a quality program, it usually costs me about $350/infant," Malone said. "So a lot of programs lose money that way. They're going to charge what it costs -- so you'll see some programs in our area charge about $400 for that infant space or they'll take the market rate cause that's what parents can afford."

>>To see our previous reporting on ABC Learn and Play 2, click here.

Kinsman, at Jumped Up Jellybeans, is planning on raising her rates, to keep up with minimum wage demands. She'll be charging one flat fee of $200 per child per week, no matter the age. She says typically, children continue with these programs as they grow.

"I'd just like to provide more care to more families," Kinsman said.