Childcare services in Pennsylvania being impacted by staffing shortages

Child care services in Philadelphia and beyond are being impacted by staffing shortages that have left classrooms empty and working parents desperate to find alternatives. 

Kyesha Moody, the Director of Brightside Academy in Southwest Philadelphia, said finding qualified staff that understands child development and the difficulties facing the profession has been hard.

The school, located on Woodland Avenue, had nine empty classrooms when FOX 29's Monica Evans visited the building on Tuesday. 

Mai Miksic from Children First advocacy group said on average a kindergarten teacher will earn $40k a year, which is double the amount of what an early childhood education teacher with similar skills makes. 

She believes the low pay for qualified staff, paired with childcare fees billed to parents is putting a burden on our economy. The costs for a child and infant, Miksic explained, can cost as much as $1,600-$1,700 a month, or $20k per year. 

"Parents work in every sector from healthcare to education to restaurants, so the economy isn't going to recover fully unless we solve this child care crisis," Miksic said. She mentioned that there are currently 3,000 children on the childcare waitlist across Pennsylvania. 

"These classrooms can be filled," Miksic said. "We can save up to 200 children that can have a head start."