SARASOTA (WWSB) - A recent study by Care.com based on statistics from the Center for American Progress shows that the demand for reliable child care continues to grow across the nation.
Sarasota is marked the third highest in all of Florida for the demand and pay for child care services.
“I do need babysitters, which I’ve had a pretty hard time finding,” said Elaine Lawrence, the mother of a 1-year-old playing at Bayfront Park on Wednesday.
Lawrence is one of many. A quick search for people looking for a part, or full time babysitters in Sarasota shows five pages of postings.
"That does not surprise me at all," said Lawrence.
But it’s not just Sarasota. According to the research done by Care.com and the Center for American Progress, the demand for reliable, quality child care professionals is significant and growing across the nation.
“And so it’s a great opportunity for people who are looking for really meaningful and valuable work in a space where the salaries are rising and there’s a huge demand,” explained Connie Fong, Vice President of Brand for Care.com. “So it definitely is an oasis in the context of this desert.”
That is, a job oasis in a child care desert.
Here in Sarasota, that third ranking in the state is in terms of parents who need child care and are willing to pay for it.
"We looked at three factors. We looked at the demand for child care, the average hourly wage and also the increase in the wages over time," explained Fong. "So Sarasota is actually third in this and the average rate for a child care provider is $15.49"
It's up to the parents to decide how much they're willing to pay, but current postings looking to hire in Sarasota reach up to $30 an hour.
“I think I had a different expectation of what I would pay for childcare,” said Lawrence. “I’m very happy to pay someone who’s keeping my child, more than I would pay someone who’s working on my house, because he’s my child. But I’ve run into... I think that’s not always the case.”
Not always the case for other parents, but even the Care.com moms agree.
“My 18-month-old was throwing up twice last night so I had to give him a bath and change his sheets and I have two other kids that needed to get ready for school this morning," explained Fong of how important her nanny is to the family. "I was literally looking at my watch saying, what time is Annie, my nanny, coming?” “It’s 7:25, she comes at 7:30. Like I need help. I desperately. Need. Help!”
For more information about Care.com’s nationwide analysis, click here.
The site shows postings not just for child care, but for tutoring, housecleaning, senior and pet care too.
To see these postings, click here.