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Las Vegas childcare workers leaving daycares and becoming private caregivers

Childcare workers are leaving the daycare and heading to houses, citing better pay and more one-on-one time with children as reasons.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 6:53 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A report published this spring shows that nearly half a million families nationwide are said to be without reliable child care, making the country’s worker shortage worse as parents continue to stay home, according to Wells Fargo economists.

Locally, Las Vegas families and former daycare workers told FOX5 that affordable childcare options are seemingly being impacted by a lack of staff retention.

One mother whose baby goes to a daycare in Henderson at a private educational institution told FOX5 that it has been a revolving door of staff at the facility as of late. She said three out of four of her child’s daycare teachers just recently quit for higher-paying jobs in childcare.

We caught up with one of those daycare teachers who quit, Olivia Allen of Henderson.

“Having like 12 babies to one room is really a lot,” said Allen. “It just gave me like a lot of anxiety, stressed me out a lot.”

She said the infant daycare she recently worked for brought with it an overwhelming number of diapers to change, cries to soothe and activities to conduct.

“We had littler babies, since you had to, like, physically hold them and feed them their bottles and stuff... and then four teachers. We were kind of like always jumping over each other running into each other,” said Allen.

For a job that is in such high demand, Allen said she was only making $12 per hour.

“So basically, like, a dollar a baby,” she said with a laugh. “It wasn’t enough for me to make a living off of.”

But in new job, it’s a different story: “I get $20 an hour,” said Allen.

She left her daycare job for a job with a family in a private home, as a nanny.

“My sister is actually a nanny, and she found it on Care.com, and so she told me, she was like, ‘Why don’t you just do the exact same thing you’re doing right now, but get paid more and way less babies?’”

Now Allen is among the many who are part of “the great resignation,” as the nation faces a shortage of daycare workers.

Allen still works full-time, but makes hundreds more per week and said she isn’t as stressed.

“I think it’s really fun. It’s really rewarding watching her grow everyday,” said Allen.

For the children, Allen said she feels nannying is an even better form of childcare.

“If anything, it’s more one-on-one attention, because you’re giving all your attention to that baby,” said Allen.

On the other hand, not everyone has the luxury of choice, because hiring a nanny at $20 per hour is not affordable for a lot of families in the valley.

If daycare staff shortages persist, parents told FOX5 they believe it’s cause for concern, as the quality of the valley’s childcare options could deteriorate for some.