Single parents have to make difficult decisions all the time, and this was no different for Ella. For example: should she exchange her close to home, full-time but low-paying job with a better-paying one with benefits but located out of town, so that she could work less and spend more time with her daughter? But there was no guarantee until after successfully completing a 9-month probationary period. It was a risk Ella prayerfully took with the hope of providing a brighter future for her small family.
If you are a working family in central Minnesota with young children, you’ve probably felt the restricting squeeze of finding available childcare. The percentage of households with children and two working parents has been increasing for decades now; but conversely, the availability of childcare is not rising to meet the need. Even with an increasing population, the number of childcare providers in Crow Wing County has decreased from 199 in 2008 to 92 in 2018.
Ella was one of the lucky ones who did have secure daycare during the week; however, her new job required her to work every other weekend as well. Despite not having the support of family, Ella had so far been able to find friends to babysit during her weekend shifts. Until this particular Saturday morning.
Ella called the Crisis Nursery, and I could tell by the tenseness in her voice that she had run out of options and was running out of time as well.