Staffing Shortage at Norristown Childcare Centers Slowing Economic Recovery

willow school
Image via The Willow School.

Staffing shortages at Pennsylvania childcare centers – such as The Willow School in Norristown – are forcing families to change their routines and slowing the economic recovery, writes Ed Mahon for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Willow School had to close its infant room that used to be a daytime home for eight children and the highest number of employees since one staffer is required for every four babies.

Kym Ramsey, CEO of the school, also had to reduce hours as well as the number of children the facility cares for. The enrolment is currently at 55 kids when it was around 110 before the pandemic. But this is not for a lack of interest.

“We have a waiting list, but no staff,” said Ramsey.

To try and attract and keep workers, Ramsey used federal assistance to raise pay for employees in November. She is also planning to offer a 401(k) match of 3 percent in January in the hopes of making employees feel appreciated.

“It’s better than nothing, right? So I think it will help,” said Ramsey. “But if it will keep them and retain them, I can’t promise you that.”

Read more about The Willow School and the staffing shortage in The Philadelphia Inquirer.