Staffing shortages force Lincoln preschools to make difficult decisions

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Staffing shortages continue to impact every industry, including early childhood education.

Many parents are stuck on a waiting list, and preschools are struggling to make ends meet.

“I would dare say that every child care center in Lincoln has a waiting list because of not enough adequate staffing,” said Sanine Beck, owner of Little Learners Christian Preschool.

Beck said her wait list is filling up fast, and she has already had to cut some classes because of staffing shortages.

“We will cut our infant room as of the end of May,” she said. “It was a really sad decision to have to do, but we had to make a cut because we are losing some teachers to moving away, so without getting an influx of new applicants, we had to make a decision to cut a classroom.”

If she isn’t able to hire more teachers, things will only get worse.

“We are regulated with ratios, so the only way we cut back is we cannot enroll more children, which then affects the revenue,” Beck said. “It is a crisis.”

There were no legislative bills this session to help with this shortage, and no official help on the federal level.

Beck is making changes to the application process to make it less intimidating.

“If the applicant wasn’t comfortable with the formal interview, we are also giving them the option to do just a meet-and-greet casually with some of the other teachers over some chips and salsa, just to see who they were working with and to see if it looks like a good fit before we do all of the formal long application, and a formal interview,” she said.

Beck added that she is willing to pay for any classes applicants may need if they do not have a background in education.  She also encourages those who want to work only a few days a week or only a few hours a day to apply, as they can make a huge difference.

If you are interested in working at Little Learners Christian Preschool in Lincoln, visit its website.

We reached out to moms in Lincoln to see what kind of experiences they are having.

One mom said:

Fb 1

Another said:

Fb 2

The shortage is causing a crisis nationwide.

“I’m hearing from other directors and owners nationwide that are closing their doors,” Beck said. “Again, because with the shortage, then that means fewer students and that means less revenue and they can’t keep their doors open.”

Categories: Lancaster, News, Top Stories