Childcare shortage presenting challenges for employers, including Floyd County public safety

Thursday, June 15, 2023–6:44 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

Employers in both the private and public sectors are dealing with a major issue when it comes to hiring – childcare.

Whether it is staffing shortages in childcare or affordability, some potential employees are turning down job offers or opting for part-time work because they have no one to look after the kids. The issue has caught the attention of Floyd County officials as the hiring assessments are underway for E911.

Floyd County Manager Jamie McCord told the county public safety committee Thursday, childcare is a county-wide issue.

Jamie McCord

“I talked to a lot of industry leaders earlier this week about it,” he said. “It’s almost the number one concern among industries in Floyd County. It’s everywhere, as an incentive or trying to figure out ways to have childcare as an option or provide it in some way.  A lot of them are actually looking at physically doing it as opposed to outsourcing it.”

According to Floyd County E911 Director Sommer Robinson, childcare is a huge issue for public safety, especially when there are 24-hour shifts.

“That’s been the number one complaint of people who want to work here,” she said. “If there was something we could figure out, it would be amazing. I guarantee we would see an increase in applications and employment.”

Floyd County Commissioner Scotty Hancock said daycare is something that should be looked at, but, doesn’t want to compete against private business owners.

Scotty Hancock

“I know there may not be any [daycare] openings right now, but I promise you if we did decide to do something, our phones would blow up,” he told the committee. “When we look at it, we have to look at it as some sort of specialty that is not currently being offered in the community, such as 24-hour service.”

Floyd County Public Safety Division Director John Blalock told the committee he would rather not see the county open up a 24/7 childcare operation, adding that a partnership with private daycare providers would be a better way to go.

“If any of the existing childcare agencies have a plan and they would like to partner with us, I encourage them to contact me directly,” he said.

Hancock agreed with Blalock calling his suggestion “a great idea.”

He then asked Blalock put together a committee to look at some possible options.

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