It’s hard enough to find high-quality, affordable childcare. But when you work the night shift, as many low-income mothers and fathers do, it can be an insurmountable challenge.
Fortunately, for parents living in Chillicothe, Ohio, there’s an answer: An overnight childcare center.
The Carver Community Center is partnering with Goodwill Industries to expand its daycare services to offer childcare around the clock. Justine Smith, the director of the center, told Dominic Binkley of The Colombus Dispatch, “There are a lot of second- and third-shift jobs available in Columbus. (Parents) are more than happy to drive to Columbus for work, but when it comes to child care, they’re kind of stuck.”
As middle-class parents can attest, the cost of childcare isn’t cheap. (A recent report showed that childcare has become more expensive than college tuition in 31 states.) However, the Carver Community Center manages to keep prices low — most parents pay only $55 to $130 a week — through donations, grants, and support from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Some families that are especially needy only contribute a co-pay of a few dollars.
Still, even if the childcare is affordable, it has to be offered during the hours that parents can actually use it. The Carver Community Center’s rare nighttime hours will allow many parents keep their jobs and not depend on inconsistent or unsafe overnight care for their kids.
Currently there’s a waiting list for night care at the center. “I can honestly say I hate to turn a child away,” Smith told Binkley. “If somebody gave me $1 million, then I would have every kid in the world in this place, but I’ve got to look at the funding.”
For the families that the center is able to help, however, the security that comes with knowing their children are well cared for while they work is priceless.