Childcare in Southern Delaware~Child care report: First State lacks affordable options.

Posted on 02-08-2023

“Kent and Sussex just don’t have options.”

A Rodel report finds that the lack of affordable childcare options is holding Delaware families back.

A new report from Rodel shows that First State families do not have adequate access to affordable child care.

A coalition of advocacy groups – including Rodel, the Delaware Association for the Education of Young ChildrenDelaware Readiness Teams and the First State Pre-K – conducted a survey with hundreds of Delaware families to gauge their feelings about childcare services.

Caregivers of children 5 years and younger shared common complaints about long waitlists, high prices and a lack of options around them.
According to the survey, 81% of caregivers said the expenses of childcare hold their family back from improving their situation.

A lot of this is in the hands of legislators, with the following being passed in recent years:

  • SB 169 required all programs serving children under the age of 5 to be licensed by the state.
  • HB 222 required that all licensed programs ensure children receive lead screenings to mitigate the lead crisis and ensure that if children qualify for additional services due to lead exposure that they are receiving them. 
  • SB 82 created a statewide kindergarten/school registration form. This allowed districts and providers to share common kindergarten information to streamline the process for families transitioning from early care to the districts.
  • SCR 55 streamlined the regulations for entities serving children under the age of 5 to assist with SB 169.
  • SB136 moved the special needs services through IDEA Part C from Delaware Health and Social Services to the Delaware Department of Education, meaning that any child that has special needs from birth through 21 receives consistent DOE services.
  • HB202 required all licensed programs complete developmental screenings with families of the children enrolled.
  • SCR 36 increased compensation scales for early childhood education professionals.

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By: Jarek Rutz
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz and on LinkedIn 

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