PHOENIX — Whiz Kidz Daycare and Preschool recently opened a new location to accommodate the increased need for childcare after more parents and guardians go back to work -- increasing the need for quality daycare.
The local facility is looking to appeal to long-term care workers, using incentives and a positive environment.
Martha Picciao, mother of three and Founder of Whiz Kidz says, she is working to meet the growing need for childcare.
"We've never been as busy as we have been in 2021, which is mind-blowing to me because just last year we were less than half empty, she said. Now, we've just opened our 4th location because people are ready and kids need to have normalcy and interaction."
The childcare center is accepting youngsters 6 weeks to 5-years old, as parents make their way back to work.
The national average is less than $12 an hour and enrollment plummeted during the pandemic last year caused many teachers to take on new jobs, creating a childcare shortage.
"Parents whether they're working from home or in their office at the end of the day they have to be on calls they have to be on zoom meetings they have to get things done and kids thrive in consistency; they thrive you know being engaged in activities and socializing we feel very blessed to be able to serve, Picciao said. Our demand is so much higher than our staffing and so it's this battle of that hiring trained, experienced staff that really have the heart in it."
She said Whiz Kids is looking at better pay, incentive programs and cross-campus training to entice applicants back into the industry.
"We really try to take care of our teachers and create a positive and supportive culture and reward system, we call them Whiz Kidz bucks and so that's something you know we just implemented so we have it a long list of things they can shop, I mean all the way from a mug to a vacation," she added.
While many parents worked remotely, causing tens of thousands of daycare closures, Picciao is hoping safety measures and more locations will draw moms and dads in need.
"We have a special equipment that we purchased, we have lower classroom ratios and you know we've just been so lucky and just worked really hard to keep everyone safe and environments clean," Picciao said.
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