KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — Especially for working parents, balancing work and family responsibilities can be a challenge.

Kettering is introducing a new pilot program for childcare aimed at creating more in-home options, while helping add and maintain jobs for residents.

The program’s overall goal is to create more opportunities childcare sites that help working families afford the costs and cutting down on the lack of availability.

“It is essential to families for being becoming employed and staying employed. We’re seeing it as a critical piece that is missing in moving our employment numbers up,” said Angela Rahman, community development manager, city of Kettering.

City leaders say childcare needs have been magnified in the past three years. 

With schools going remote during the COVID-19 pandemic, child daycare providers and families had to adapt to a new normal.

“I think during COVID childcare centers really took a hit and then families took a hit,” Rahman said. “And so the availability wasn’t there, the affordability wasn’t there. And people chose not to enter the workforce or became under-employed and weren’t taking advantage of options that could have helped their families just because there wasn’t any safe place to put their children.” 

The Kettering City Council has been receiving feedback from working mothers and families in the community.  

In order to gain more insight into the ongoing problem, the city conducted an internal search on some of its low and moderate income households. 

“Fifty-percent or more. The reason they were struggling with paying their rent was because of either unavailable or unaffordable childcare options or both. So it’s something that we see across the board. Families with means, families that are struggling. It really does have an impact on people joining the workforce,”  Rahman says.

Kettering city officials say the rollout will begin with recruitment. If you are interested in having a in home childcare within your home, you can reach out to the city of Kettering.