Most live in child-care desert

Over the past several years, those of us with young children have become acutely aware of the lack of adequate childcare in our community. As a pediatrician and mother who has been through the child-care labyrinth in the past, I emphatically urge Summit County to commit additional funding to the child-care and early education system.

It is estimated that 77% of the Utah population lives in a child-care desert. Contrary to many assumptions, 75% of Summit County families with children rely on a two-parent workforce to maintain cost of living. I have seen many of them have to make the decision to cut back on their work hours (or not work at all) because they cannot find or cannot afford childcare that meets their needs.

I have worked with parents in my office who tell me that they put their names on a day-care list when they discovered they were pregnant and are still waiting to be placed with a center after their child is a year of age. Oftentimes, these centers do not have long enough hours to fit their needs and they often have difficulty keeping consistent staff.  

Summit County is one of the most popular vacation spots in the country. The parents who serve it deserve to know that their children will be well cared for and loved while they serve the travelers to our town and while they provide financial resources for their family. The people who work at these centers also need to feel supported in providing this service that is so valuable to us. 

The lack of adequate child care is a nationwide issue. Summit County needs to be the community who sets the example by making it a priority. Less stressed parents = less stressed/happy children = a community that keeps thriving.

Alison Delgado

Park City

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