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Kingswood ELA Covered In Childcare Story - Delaware News Journal

"Delaware has procedures to investigate issues at child care centers. But are they working?" By Hannah Edelman

The Delaware News Journal interviewed Kingswood Community Center Director of Operations Julie Bieber for a story on childcare licensing this week: 

“Kingswood Community Center in Wilmington opens the doors to its Early Learning Academy at 7 every morning.

The 65 kids between the ages of 1 and 5 years old are dropped off to a team of teachers and staff for a day of playing, meals and creative learning units. All of the Early Learning Academy’s operations must meet guidelines set by state laws, or the community center risks losing its early childcare provider license.

But with rising costs and qualified employees becoming harder to find and retain, operating childcare centers in Delaware — as well as paying for one’s children to attend them — has grown increasingly more difficult.

Julie Bieber, director of operations at Kingswood Community Center, said many of the children attending her program have their costs covered by the state. But not all Delawareans have that option, and the pandemic has left many parents still grappling with changes in income and availability.

According to a recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, almost 13% of Delaware’s young children are in families in which someone “quit, changed, or refused a job” due to struggles finding child care.

Bieber said the Early Learning Academy only recently returned to its full pre-pandemic capacity, with past years seeing both decreased open slots for safety, as well as fewer parents wanting to send their children to in-person programming.

Simply finding available and affordable childcare isn’t the end of the battle, though —  parents and guardians then have to determine whether the people they entrust with their children are safe.”

Read more below at DelawareOnline: