Providers sound off about daycare regulations in Erie County

Posted at 5:22 AM, Dec 17, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Daycare providers from around Erie County are working to find solutions to a childcare crisis:

  • High turnover in staff
  • Low enrollment
  • And viability into the future, with strict rules and regulations

Vonetta Rhodes is a member of the Childcare Action Team, leading a symposium for providers to express concerns, with the New York State Office of Child and Family Services. She says, "As child care providers, we want to have a voice in those processes before they take pen to paper and become laws and legislation."

Rhodes adds, "from small providers to even large ones, are feeling a bit nitpicked because the same standards that we have to maintain in terms of the battery of clearance paperwork and even the day to day curriculum, is a high expectation for our teachers and staff, but the pay is not consistent with public school teachers."

With low pay and high costs, providers face a high turnover in staff.

According to a 2012 study, the average turnover rate, nationwide, is 30-percent each year.

Regulations mandate a certain ratio, especially for infants.

"Based on regulations, we can still only care for two infants per adult," says daycare provider Diane Abram. "So what we're finding now is many providers are going to wind up closing, because we don't have enough children in our family daycares to sustain us."

The State Office of Child and Family Services says, it is reviewing the public comments submitted on the emergency regulations and will take any appropriate action, when that process is complete.