The area unemployment rate remains at one of its lowest points in many years. Businesses are hiring with the new Kwik Star and soon Cobblestone Hotel about to begin operations after construction is complete. Waldorf University is seeing good growth as well. Winnebago Industries continues to hire along with other area manufacturing and warehouse companies. In essence, jobs are looking for people in the area and those people are looking for daycare. Without it, the jobs may not get filled as fast, if at all.
Forest City has been combating the problem of daycare availability. They made a sizeable dent in the lack thereof when the Forest City YMCA took on the problem and created programs and care for all ages of youth. YMCA Director Bruce Mielke says that they still have issues to be addressed.
Nationally, daycare workers earn a median hourly wage of $9.91. The annual average wage would then be $20,612 according to Pay Scale.com. That same resource stated that some top employees are earning $14.02 per hour. In May of 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited that the average salary was $18,595 or $8.94 an hour.
The median hourly wage means that half of all workers earn more and half of all workers earn less.
Mielke has to work around funding parameters and balance everything in order to work.
What helps the program continue is the assistance the YMCA gets to propel the program forward and make it successful.
Mielke and others involved with the daycare program have found a way to improve the program, but it will involve the community and philanthropic support.
In essence, if the program would not have to pay for extra workers during both the early morning and the late afternoon and evening hours when there are just a few daycare attendees at each location, it would be able to fund additional assistance during the day and open up more opportunities for more daycare attendees.
Right now, the YMCA is exploring any options that would be available in order to expand daycare opportunities and reduce the current waiting list.