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Study: Too Few Child Care Spots In Franklin County

A new study finds too few child care options in Franklin County. More children need day care but there's a lack of space at day-care centers. Community Research Partners presented its findings to the Columbus Foundation. The study finds that in Franklin County there are six children for every available seat in an accredited day care center. Community Research Partners executive, Roberta Garber, says poverty, more single parent families, and a growing immigrant population are driving the demand for child care. Garber says the imbalance between demand and supply is greatest in southwest Franklin County. "In the Greenlawn area I think has a bit of geographic anomaly, but there's actually, the demand exceeds the supply by 31 to 1. So, lots of kids living there not many centers in that neighborhood." Says Garber. In two city neighborhoods, the Near East Side and Hayden Run in northwest Franklin County the ratio of children to number of slots in day care centers is actually 1 to 1. The study also reveals that parents are often split over whether they want child care near their home or near their workplace. "There are areas where job growth is projected, particularly, for example in the Rickenbacker area where there are not a lot of childcare slots in that area. So, one of the things to look at is if you're trying to attract workers in that area how do you make sure they have accessible, quality and affordable childcare near work." Garber says. The child care study recommends creation of 'need-based' scholarships for children from economically poor families and creation of licensing standards for child care in private homes. The Columbus Foundation helped fund the study. Tom Borgerding WOSU News