Child care centers say cost and limited options make expanding difficult – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-08-03 22:26:54 –

Portland, Oregon (KOIN) – More child care providers are urgently needed in Oregon, but Portland Metro Area providers are due to zoning regulations, limited assets, lack of financial assistance, etc. , States that expanding the facility is a difficult battle.

Troy Vertical was established Sunshine Center Child Care and Preschool In Northportland 11 years ago. For the past eight years, he has been trying to convert the basement of the next church into an additional daycare facility.

Troy Tate, owner of the Sunshine Center, says he has been working on expanding the Child Care Center to the basement of the next church for the past eight years. Taken on August 2, 2021 (KOIN)

He had to meet hygiene requirements, remodel the kitchen, upgrade the bathroom to suit occupancy, and create a ground-level exit.

Overall, he believes he has invested more than $ 200,000 in the project.

“Borrowing is costly. For families in need of childcare, what you can charge and what makes you more competitive in the market, and how much profit you will ultimately get to repay the loan. There are subtle differences in what you can do, “Tate said.

He says it’s difficult for caregivers to even qualify for a loan if they’re operating outside their own home.

Thankfully, he has applied for and received grants for years, which has helped him cover the costs. Still, not all healthcare providers know how to write grants, and funding can be an even bigger challenge for healthcare providers who speak English as a second language, he says. ..

Tate says he couldn’t afford to refurbish the new facility without the grant he received from Prosper Portland.

In addition to navigating finances, Tate says there are also many hoops that care providers need to jump over to ensure that their facility can be licensed. He needed fire safety and hygiene inspections, which were difficult to spot during the pandemic.

Sunshine Center Child Care and Preschool, taken August 2, 2021. (KOIN)

He wanted a new facility to open by the beginning of the school year that could take care of an additional 20 children. By the way, it seems to be October 1st at the earliest.

Tate’s situation is not unique. Other care providers around the Portland Metro area also say they are having a hard time expanding and finding new locations.

Crystal Belan is the founder of Bean sprouts and sparks Kindergarten in Southwest Portland. She started kindergarten in 2019, saw how much the need for childcare was, and wanted to open a new facility.

“I’ve just started making inquiries, but there are 16 spots, and I think it’s okay, which is a big need,” says Belan.

She quickly realized how difficult it was to find a suitable space for a large daycare facility in Portland. She says many of the restaurants that closed last year have lawn areas where you can imagine a playground, but they aren’t properly zoned for childcare. Rezoning and upgrading buildings to meet licensing requirements can be costly.

“For those who are engaged in childcare, the costs are out of reach,” said Belan. “I mean this isn’t the case, I don’t have a lot of money to raise a child.”

Belan thought he was a big hit when he found an available property that was a school on Lake Oswego. She jumped at it, but soon realized that other problems were in her way. There were no recent property blueprints in Clackamas County. The outdated blueprint shows the pool that was subsequently buried, and there is no evidence of an existing building that Belan will use.

Belan wanted to provide both preschool and infant care at the new facility, but due to blueprint issues, infant care plans have been put on hold. She hopes to revisit that idea in November.

Fortunately, a city official said the property was used as a school and decided that it could continue to be used as a school, but wanted to update the architectural drawings.

Belan is still optimistic and the new kindergarten will be open by September 7.

Crystal Gwin also remains optimistic about her difficult situation.Gwin is the Executive Director Childs Work Learning Center In Southeast Portland.

The care facility has been operating in a building owned by the Church of St. Stephen Catholic for the past 16 years and currently serves 250 families.

Crystal Gwin stands outside the former location of the Childs Work Learning Center on July 26, 2021. The Childswork lease ended on July 31, 2021 at the Church of St. Stephen Catholic. (KOIN)

In 2020, a church priest told the school that he would end the lease five years earlier on July 31, 2021.

A real estate attorney representing the parish told KOIN 6 News that, under the terms of the lease with Childwork, both parties have the right to terminate the lease early with a one-year notice. The lawyer said the parish has other plans for spaces directly related to its core ministries.

For the past 12 months, Gwin has been looking for enough space to move in, but hasn’t found one that can accommodate all the children. Instead, the school was split into two places. Temporary location for Montessori and Portland Community College Southeast in Montavilla.

“We currently have 23,000 square feet, filling all of them,” Gwin said in an interview on July 26. Our footprints. ”

Children at the Childs Work Learning Center will hold the project on July 26, 2021 to take pictures. (KOIN)

Like Belan, Gwin says that many places that are large enough or have plenty of outdoor space are not properly zoned. They considered several churches and found that the necessary refurbishment devoured their savings.

She wants the temporary location of PCC Southeast to give them time to upgrade their facilities and rezone more permanent locations that work for them.

“I think we’ve learned that it’s incredibly challenging and this is a much bigger and more collaborative effort,” Gwin said.

Overall, all three child care providers have stated that they would like to have more grants and other financing options available for the development of new spaces for care facilities. They say proper funding is paramount if the state plans to move out of its current position. “Childcare desert.”

They also hope that city and county construction and development services will facilitate the application of zoning and allow childcare facilities.

Oregon’s Early Learning Department says it knows that access to facilities continues to be a barrier to expanding childcare throughout the state. The Federal COVID-19 Relief Fund, designated for childcare during a pandemic, cannot be used for capital investment.

According to the EDL, some communities are working with lawmakers to spend some of their state and local US rescue planning legislation on capital improvement projects.

EDL also states that it has licensing specialists throughout the state and works closely with providers throughout the licensing process.

The Portland Development Services Department said KOIN 6 News child care providers can see zoning where they are interested. Have a video online Here’s how to do this in Portland.

A spokesman for the Development Services Department said he was unaware of any efforts to facilitate childcare facility zoning applications.

Child care centers say cost and limited options make expanding difficult Source link Child care centers say cost and limited options make expanding difficult

Back to top button