Childcare Survey Shows Needs In Spokane

Nov 21, 2019

A new survey conducted by several Spokane organizations finds a real need for affordable healthcare in the community.

The survey quizzed over 200 people of low or moderate income who have received assistance from the Spokane Regional Health District, Transitions, The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, and other organizations.

Sarah Lickfold is the development director at Transitions, who says some anecdotal quotes from the survey participants explained a lot of the dilemma they face.

“I’m not able to get childcare until I get a job, but I’m not able to get a job until I find childcare. So it’s just this cycle that goes round and round. And you might go and try to find childcare, but the cost is too high, and that’s quality childcare, but you can’t even get your kid in without having some kind of income to start out,” Lickfold said.

Among the findings of the survey, 50 percent said they were unable to access affordable child care for half the year or more. Nearly half either stayed home or utilized family members as the primary source of care. About one third faced issues finding childcare that matched their schedules.

Shelby Berkompass, who runs childcare at Transitions, says one in five of those surveyed said they had challenges with trusting a child care provider.

“I think that bullet point comes from parents having to use a last resort when trying to find childcare. So for example, leaving their child with a neighbor they don’t necessarily know or a friend that might not be super trusted, and that brings a lot of anxiety to the parents because they’re not sure where they’re leaving their kids,” Berkompass said.

Survey organizers are deciding their next steps as to how the survey can be used. Among the possibilities is giving copies to local and state government officials.