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Staffing shortage forces north Columbus child care center to close

When there aren’t enough employees to keep things running smoothly, Bond says classrooms get shut down.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The owner of a north Columbus child care center says a staffing shortage is partly to blame for her decision to permanently close her facilities. 

Janis Bond owns Junior Graduates Enrichment Center, located off of Evanswood Drive in north Columbus. Bond says, ever since she went commercial in 2014, running the facility has been a dream… except when it comes to the funding behind child care. 

Columbus is no exception to the current world-wide staffing shortage. Bond says she’s lucky if she can get someone to interview right now. 

“Come the afternoon, they just don’t show up to the interview. Maybe some of them may email you and say ‘I found another opportunity,’ maybe you’ll never hear from them at all,” said Bond. 

When there aren’t enough employees to keep things running smoothly, Bond says classrooms get shut down, leading to a trickle-down effect. 

Bond says low wages are a huge factor in teachers deciding to leave. In Ohio, child care workers can be paid anywhere from $8 to $15 per hour. 

With companies like Kohl’s and Amazon offering $18 an hour, Bond says teachers are leaving for the pay. 

Funding for early child care centers varies in part based on the amount of children served and how many low-income families use the services provided.  

“Policies are going to have to be forced, hands are going to have to be forced,” said Bond. “In the same way that these big corporations are having to pay more per hour because the money is there to do so, the state’s gonna have to do the same. Something’s gotta change, universal preschool needs to become a thing.” 

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