Daycare closure affects teachers, community

Child care is something that is in high demand when living in a small town. For the families of Yutan, the Yutan Kids Academy was a daycare open Monday through Friday that many families relied on each week. At the end of October, however, the daycare closed abruptly due to a staffing shortage.

Since the daycare leased space from the school, there were rumors that Yutan Public Schools forced the owners to close, which is not accurate.

The daycare closing does not have a direct effect on Yutan Public Schools as it was run by a person privately,” said Hoffer. “The school owns the building so we leased it out for a daycare.”

The daycare’s closure did have a big effect on the school’s families, however, since it was so close to the elementary school.

“The daycare affects the school from a convenience standpoint,” Hoffer said. “Many people drop off their kids at Yutan Public Schools and then go straight to the daycare to drop off their younger children.”

Another effect on the school district was that several of the teachers sent their kids to the daycare. 

“Several of our teachers have utilized the after-school care option,” said Hoffer. 

Business teacher Clay Carlton was one of these teachers who had to find another option. Luckily his wife worked outside Yutan, so they were able to find another center near her work.

While it would be convenient for us if it did reopen, we love the new daycare Kennedy (my daughter) is in,” Carlton said. “I know if my wife were to also work in Yutan right now, we would be in a world of hurt.”

While Carlton and other teachers have found solutions for the time being, Hoffer believes not having a daycare in town could possibly affect the district’s ability to recruit future teachers.

“Several of our teachers also have used the daycare services to be conveniently close to their place of employment,” Hoffer said. 

Since the school district owns the building, they are exploring future possibilities for the space.

“At this point, Yutan Public Schools is exploring options to see what potential opportunities we have,” Hoffer said.