YMCA of Dane Co. cuts some after-school childcare programs over staffing shortage

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 8:46 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The YMCA of Dane County has cut some of its after-school childcare programs ahead of the start of the school year due to a staffing shortage, a spokesperson confirmed.

YMCA representative Scott Shoemaker said that after major recruiting efforts, the organization has zero childcare employee applicants.

Families affected should have received an email from the YMCA West executive director Tuesday, which described the issue as part of a “very real staffing crisis affecting schools and child care providers in our area and across the country.” The email also detailed what efforts the organization took to try to hire more employees, including reaching out to other child care providers to consider sharing staff.

Not all sites are impacted by the issue, but the representative said the ones affected are in Middleton.

The agency said they hope to get the programs up and running again, but would need people to apply for the positions.

Dear Families,

I have important and disappointing news to share. Due to a very real staffing crisis affecting schools and child care providers in our area and across the country, I am extremely sorry to inform you that the YMCA is unable to operate your child’s after school child care program at this time. We are placing your child on a waiting list, and if we are able to hire teachers and reopen your child’s site, I will contact you right away.

As a parent of two school age children, I know that this development may cause a hardship for you. Unfortunately, we simply do not have staff to run the program and have exhausted all search options. Our human resources team used every method available to recruit and hire new teachers. I personally worked with principals and administrators in your school district to get help from district teachers, as we have done in the past, but they are short-staffed as well. We even reached out to other child care providers to discuss a staff-sharing arrangement, but they are experiencing the same crisis. All of our efforts have been unsuccessful, and we currently have zero applicants for open child care positions. Our teacher shortage extends to all sites, so it is not possible to move your child to another after school site.

This decision was not made lightly, but it is quite literally our only choice. Again, I can’t tell you how sorry I am. We will refund your registration and September fees that have already been collected. Additionally, if your family does not have a Y membership, we’ll offer you free membership for the rest of 2022; if you’re already members, we’ll cover your membership dues for the rest of the year. Feel free to reply to me directly with any questions.

Katie Martinelli, West YMCA Executive Director