LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor Greg Fischer has signed an ordinance that would change the zoning around child care in hopes of making it more accessible and affordable.
The ordinance would allow more children in home child care facilities which would provide more options for families.
Metro Council passed the ordinance unanimously in March.
Fischer believes the move would help get more women back into the workplace.
“Even if you don't have children, this affects you too. So consider that 45% of surveyed Kentucky parents had to quit a job, the client a job or grand to change a job because of childcare issues over more than a year during the pandemic,” he said.
District 8 Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong introduced the ordinance and said from experience, finding child care has been more difficult since the pandemic and, in some cases, impossible.
“There are only 12 sports stadiums in the entire world that are large enough to hold 100,000 people. The 100,000 moms who are out of our workforce solely because of childcare issues, could almost fill Cardinal Stadium twice,” she said.
It was stats like Mayor Fischer mentioned which led the WHAS11 FOCUS team to investigate child care deserts in Louisville.
Kentucky data showed about 9% of licensed child care facilities in Louisville have closed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Between rent, insurance, staff and keeping the lights on, it’s a high-cost business.
Asia Rivers, a business owner who runs Talk Childcare To Me, said it has been hard to hire staff and the impact of a shortage has a ripple effect.
“It’s catastrophic – it really affects our economy, our workforce – especially women,” she said.
The median hourly wage in Louisville for a child care worker is $10.26.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, an independent think tank that researches trends and policies.
The average price for child care for an infant is $6,400 – more than $500 a month in Kentucky.
For some parents, it’s a rent payment, at a time when everything is more expensive.