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'It's really hard' | Parents struggle with increasing cost, decreasing options for childcare

"The cost as well as the accessibility are huge issues," said Katie Rast with the San Diego Foundation.

SAN DIEGO — Families all over San Diego are having trouble finding childcare, either because it's not available, or they can't afford it.  

"It's really hard and very stressful," said Danica McAdam, a full-time working mom who has two kids under the age of three. For her, finding the right childcare was hard enough.

Now, she's faced with rising costs, making the situation even more stressful.

"We just got a notice last night about our kids' tuition going up $100 a month," said McAdam.

According to new research by The San Diego Foundation, of the 850 local parents surveyed:

  • 92% consider safe, reliable childcare crucial in their ability to work.
  • 76% say finding affordable childcare in their area is an issue.
  • 68% say finding childcare for a full working day is a problem as well.

On top of that, 93% of childcare providers surveyed said they have difficulty hiring qualified staff.

"The cost, as well as the accessibility are huge issues. And so if a family is looking at $19,000 a year for one infant in a licensed care facility, that's a price tag that is simply unattainable to many families and just isn't realistic. And even for families who are able to afford the cost of care, oftentimes, we're hearing back from working parents, they simply can't find an available space for their child," said Katie Rast with the San Diego Foundation.

So, what's the solution? Some experts in the field say in addition to government funding, more employers should offer childcare benefits.

"A) They're competing for top talent, and B) they need to re-engage their talent. And if they don't help families solve this critical issue, they themselves are not going to be in a good place," said Alessandra Lezama, the founder and CEO of Tootris, a San Diego based company that not only allows parents to search for childcare depending on their needs, but it also helps employers set up childcare incentives for their employees.

While Lezama is seeing more companies step up to do that, she says there's still a lot of work that needs to be done.

 "It all adds value. But it only is a piece of the puzzle,” said Lezama.

WATCH RELATED: Consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch helps us with ways to save on everyday essentials (March 2022):