MCPHERSON, Kan. (KSNW) — This week, a day care provider was arrested in McPherson after children walked away from the residential care facility. KSN spoke with one of the parents, who says there is a need for more day care in the area.
Anthony Redar says he’s still in shock after what happened to his son, Emerson. The young boy attended Golden Explorers and was one of four kids found wandering unsupervised Wednesday roughly a quarter-mile from the day care.
The day care provider’s license has since been suspended.
But what happened Wednesday has created a new problem for Redar: finding a replacement.
“My trust issues, when it comes to day care, are pretty, pretty bad at this point in time,” said Redar.
For Redar, the struggle to find quality child care for his son Emerson has been a struggle for the past four years.
“It’s been kind of in and out, you know, of day cares for one reason or another,” said Redar.
He says that he turned to Golden Explorers after initially taking Emerson to Kids Kampus, the largest day care provider in McPherson.
“I just couldn’t afford it because it was almost $800 a month to put him in there, and I don’t pay that much for my house note,” said Redar.
But even with the center’s price tag, Redar says he ran into another problem.
“It took, gosh, it took six or seven months before I could get a callback to get him in,” said Redar.
Megan Shaw has been the director of Kids Kampus for 13 years. While the center can care for up to 300 kids, the waitlist gets longer each day.
“We get phone calls every day. We have a waitlist currently over 130,” said Shaw.
Shaw says the biggest demand comes from parents of infants 0-12 months old. The center only has nine slots, all booked.
“We have 40ish babies on the waitlist, and you’re looking at a two-year wait if you call and tell me that you’re expecting today,” said Shaw.
According to the group Child Care Aware in Kansas, the problem is statewide. It says only 43% of the current demand for child care is being met in the state of Kansas.
A new day care center will be coming to McPherson. It’s expected to care for children between the ages of 3 and 5.