Day Care Feeling The Crunch

April 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Valley's day care industry is taking a hit by the stumbling economy with more parents out of work there's less need for child care.One provider we spoke with has had to make some adjustments to keep her business afloat.

Melissa Dadian or "Auntie" as the kids call her has her hands full taking care of Ryan, Tommy, Lincoln and little Abigail. She's happy to be busy because just a few months ago her Clovis home daycare service was hit hard by the recession.

Melissa Dadian a day care provider said, "It was in late December early part of January I had several families who had lost their jobs -- then in turn they had to pull their children from the daycare."

Melissa went from taking care of six children to only three in a matter of weeks.

Dadian said, "We took some extra measures there-- we advertised in Craigslist and I hung up flyers, had magnets for the van and still no calls."

Large day care centers like this "Kids Kare" in Northeast Fresno have also seen a drop in enrollment.

Lea LaBlue of Kids Kare said, "I think that when Gottschalks closed we really saw an impact, we lost about 5-6 parents due to the closing of Gottschalks."

Those empty spots were soon filled by kids on a waiting list.

But Melissa has had to make some adjustments to get new clients, like staying open later and on weekends.

Now that she's back up to her max of six children, her family is also taking steps to make their home more "recession-proof."

Dadian said, "One thing I told my husband is we need to do differently is pad that savings a little bit more. We can get by for a few months but after a while it starts getting tight... cause we went from making a full income to about half of what I was bringing in."

Lea Lablue from Kids Kare said the reason they may be "breaking even" is because many stay-at-home moms or dads are actually having to go back to work to make ends meet.

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