LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A new facility located in the Historic Westside is trying to put a dent in the lack of affordable childcare in Southern Nevada.
This comes amid a state report that says 75% of kids do not have access to licensed childcare and some families pay nearly college tuition prices to enroll their kids in daycare.
“Last place we were paying almost a $1,000 a month for just one kid. And I have three kids,” Amber Nance said.
Nance was touring Little Steps Early Learning Academy Saturday morning near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Owens Avenue. Two months ago, she and her husband moved here from the Nashville area.
“Me trying to find childcare in Tennessee, the waitlist was like two years out. So, coming here and being able to find childcare right away was amazing for me,” Nance said.
Kimber Wright is the owner and director of Little Steps Early Learning Academy. She opened the facility on Sep. 25 but held an official grand opening Saturday.
“Trying to find a daycare that’s both in the area of where you work and live, and that’s affordable, is very hard for parents,” Wright said.
Wright operated a daycare from inside her home starting in 2015 after working as a substitute teacher for the Clark County School District.
Wright said she’s focused on early childcare because she could have a bigger impact on younger kids.
“My thing is we want to help them and give them the resources that they need before they enter kindergarten,” Wright said.
A 128-page report from the Governor’s Childcare Working Group highlighted that in most Nevada households both parents work.
In addition, 74% of kids under 5 years old do not have access to licensed childcare, and childcare costs can often be more expensive than college tuition.
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, previously told 8 News Now she’s pushing a bill through Congress to address the issue.
“What it’s going to do is allow non-profits like your local church, a Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, other nonprofits to set up low cost, trusted, quality, affordable childcare in those childcare deserts,” Rosen said on Aug. 26.
Rosen’s bill, called the Small Business Child Care Investment Act, has yet to get a full vote in the U.S. Senate.
Little Steps Early Learning Academy has a capacity of 142 kids and they currently don’t have a waitlist.