BOSTON (WWLP) – The lack of childcare options in the city of Springfield has caught the attention of lawmakers on Beacon Hill.
This is an issue that we’re really seeing across the state but gateway cities like Springfield are really feeling the brunt of the problem which is that there are very limited childcare options for residents in the area. Right now, the city of Springfield has about 20 childcare facilities and while that may seem like a lot, staffing levels at each location are very low.
“We need more programs at our schools, our community colleges, our state colleges to train more childcare providers and we need to open more slots because I hear from families, parents every single day that can’t find a slot for their 2-year-old, 3-year-old, 4-year-old,” Senator Lesser said.
Statewide there are roughly 750,000 kids eligible for childcare but there are only 250 thousand slots available. Senator Lesser is leading the charge to address some of the childcare inequities in western Massachusetts. As chair of the Early Education Committee, Senator Lesser plans to advocate for funding from the American Rescue Plan to fix some of Springfield’s childcare problems.
He believes that paying workers more and providing each center with more resources will help to open up spots at each facility. By fixing this issue we are also helping to boost the economy because if parents can find an affordable childcare option in their area they are more likely to return to the workforce.