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Preschools and daycares face staffing shortages, long-term pandemic complications

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Courtesy of ABC Child Development Centers and Bright School Age Centers
Preschoolers play at an ABC Child Development Center in Windsor.

Many preschools and daycares in Colorado were forced to shut down for weeks or months during the pandemic’s earlier days. While most are back to in-person learning, many still face major staffing shortages. People are leaving the field due to issues ranging from low wages to stress, which were exacerbated by the pandemic. Now, it’s harder and more expensive for working parents to find spots for their young children.

To learn more, we spoke with three people in early childhood education who have been navigating the pandemic since last year, and working toward solutions for the industry. Scott Bright is the owner of ABC Child Development Centers and Bright School Age Centers in Greeley. Jennifer Stedron is the executive director of Early Milestones Colorado. And Luke Afman is a former Denver preschool teacher who left early childhood education to be a correctional officer.

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