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New Hampshire YMCAs Experience Child Care Staffing Shortage

Children at YMCA Camp Lincoln in Lincoln take on a ropes course.

New Hampshire YMCAs are struggling to find staff for their child care programs. If the positions aren’t filled, the YMCA may have to reduce their child care services, including before and after school care in the fall.

“It's hurting the community,” says Alex Turek, executive director of the YMCA of Concord. “There are people who want to go back to work or looking forward to it in the fall, and they need child care. And places like the Y and others are going to be having a difficult time providing that service if we can't find the staff.”

Child care programs need a certain capacity ratio of staff to children for licensing requirements. As kids start enrolling in the YMCA programs, child care services across the state need to find employees to meet their requirements.

“We're all in the same boat,” Turek said. “Programs all around the state have to limit their capacity due to their licensing requirements for staff because they just don't have the staff.”

Turek says that while other businesses may attract workers with higher wages, the YMCA tries to compete for employees with member benefits and discounts. Entry-level workers are in high demand as businesses in New Hampshire experience staffing shortages.

Jackie Harris is the Morning Edition Producer at NHPR. She first joined NHPR in 2021 as the Morning Edition Fellow.

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