skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report: Lack of child care in Wyoming threatens viability of rural communities

play audio
Play

Monday, January 29, 2024   

Child care is an essential component of strong communities throughout the U.S. - but finding a provider is significantly more difficult in rural areas including much of Wyoming, according to a new report.

Co-author Linda Smith, the director Early Childhood Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said there are more than three kids who need child care for every available slot.

And that lack of access is taking a toll on working families.

"Parents are making do," said Smith. "Sometimes one works days, one works nights, they use relatives. The gap is pretty significant, and it's higher in rural parts of the country than it is in our cities."

Eighty-six percent of rural parents cited lack of child care as the main reason they or their partner were not able to work.

There are currently vacant rooms in child care facilities with plenty of space to add more children, but Smith said that capacity is going unused largely due to the low wages that most operations - which tend to be small businesses - can afford to pay.

Pay for childcare workers ranks among the lowest in the nation.

The cost of child care has also risen beyond the reach of many parents, sometimes topping in-state college tuition.

Smith said she believes federal investments like those that helped bridge the child care gap during the pandemic will be necessary to make the business model work.

But she said how those investments are deployed should not be decided in Washington D.C.

"There's a big difference between Casper and a smaller town out in the western part of the state," said Smith. "And only people who live in those communities really know those things."

When parents can't find care, kids and entire rural communities can pay a significant price. Children need consistency in order to fully develop into healthy adolescents and adults.

But Smith said without reliable, quality child care, kids tend to get bounced around between family and friends - and are less likely to be prepared when they reach school age.

"It impacts children, and the quality of care they get matters," said Smith. "It impacts parents, and especially parents going to work. Child care benefits businesses. Businesses need workers, and workers need child care."




get more stories like this via email

more stories
Several Mississippi correctional facilities offer both short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (six months) alcohol and drug programs with individual and group counseling for treating alcohol and drug addictions. (Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi prisons often lack resources to treat people who are incarcerated with substance-use disorders adequately but a nonprofit organization is …


Social Issues

play sound

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chance…

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico saw record enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act this year and is now setting its sights on lowering out-of-pocket costs - those n…


Migrants are put on buses from Texas to other states, often without knowing where they are going. (afishman64/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The future of Senate Bill 4 is still tangled in court challenges. It's the Texas law that would allow police to arrest people for illegally crossing …

Social Issues

play sound

Residents in a rural North Carolina town grappling with economic challenges are getting a pathway to homeownership. In Enfield, the average annual …

Social Issues

play sound

A new poll finds a near 20-year low in the number of voters who say they have a high interest in the 2024 election, with a majority saying they hold …

Social Issues

play sound

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021