PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — As school begins in Pinellas County, the YMCA Suncoast is in need of more childcare staff members. The shortage is forcing the group to put kids that want to enroll on a waitlist.
"It’s the first time we’ve ever had to have a waiting list because we do have a staffing shortage,” said Eric Keaton, YMCA Suncoast Marketing and Communications Vice President.
Eight schools in Pinellas County are freezing the enrollment for new applicants until they can get more people to join their team. Those schools are Ozona, Forest Lakes, Belleair, Oldsmar, Plumb, Cypress Woods, Highland Lakes and Bauder.
They try to keep 25 kids per staff member and that’s 10 more than they’d usually prefer.
"It is a lot! It’s a hard job but it’s definitely worth it,” said Brianna Kmec. She works at Lake Saint George Elementary in the YMCA child care center. She says she’s surprised there aren’t enough people wanting to sign up.
She thinks it's the perfect job for a college student.
"You’re getting mommy training, you’re getting good kid training, but also you’re growing as a person,” she said.
Keaton says the perfect candidate is responsible, caring, and willing to become a mentor for these students. "You have to love kids and you have to have a lot of energy,” he said.
He also asks parents that are on the wait list to be patient as they hire new employees and work that list down. To apply, click here.