That there is a childcare crisis in Hood River County will come as no surprise to parents and guardians searching for placement options.
According to a study published by Oregon State University, titled “Oregon’s Child Care Deserts: Mapping Supply by Age Group, Metropolitan Status, and Percentage of Publicly Funded Slots,” all families with infants and toddlers struggle to find childcare placement, as do most families with children under the age of 5.
“I’m honestly not sure what dual-income households with both parents working full-time are supposed to do.”
It’s unclear exactly how many children, including infants and toddlers, are waiting per available slot, said Nancy Patten, Child Care Partners coordinator and director of Childcare Resource & Referral at Columbia Gorge Community College, because it’s up to each individual provider whether or not to keep a waiting list and how many are on it.
The biggest hurdle for both Britt and Hepburn have been the lack of providers for infants.