The cost and availability of childcare can be a challenge for parents of young children.  To talk about the issues of childcare in the workforce I was joined by Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation's Gail Cruikshank.  She explains that 24% of parents surveyed withdrew from the workforce or denied employment due to childcare arrangements.  Cruikshank says Central Minnesota is short more than 5,300 childcare spots.

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Cruikshank says the workforce is missing out on a large segment of potential employees due to the financial challenges or lack of flexibility of childcare.  She says some employers have offered childcare within their facility but Cruikshank acknowledges that solution isn't an option for many employers.  She says employers should have conversations with their employees to see if childcare is an issue for them.  Cruikshank indicates many employees won't bring up their childcare concerns with employers unless they are asked.  She says some employers have chosen to pay employees with childcare issues, more to help offset their childcare expenses.

photo - Jay Caldwell
photo - Jay Caldwell

Cruikshank says often times it is young people just starting out that have young children and are faced with these childcare challenges.  She explains there is becoming less work at home for employees.  Cruikshank indicates employers want their employees in person.  She still expects hybrid options to stay as an option for many employees.  Cruikshank believes work at home or hybrid positions aren't real conducive for parents with small children.  She says that isn't great for the employee or the child.

Solutions to the problem of childcare needs and the workforce aren't the same for everyone.  Cruikshank says increasing the amount of childcare options available and decreasing the cost of the care are the barriers.  If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Gail Cruikshank it is available below.

If you'd like to learn more about GSDC and job available in the community click here.



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