Jack and Jill's child care capacity to expand

Planning Commission approves permit for four additional kids

Juneau parents may soon find few new openings for child care as a permit to expand Jack and Jill’s Play Care makes its way through city government.

The City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission unanimously passed Conditional Use Permit 2012 0013 on to the CBJ Assembly, Aug. 16 (goo.gl/QVkJi). The ordinance would allow Jill C. Anderson, the owner of Jack and Jill’s Play Care, to care for up to 12 kids on her property at 8906 Gee Street in the Mendenhall Valley. This is up from the eight currently allowed.

Anderson has operated the licensed child care facility since 2009.

CBJ staff recommended approval of the permit, but expressed concern over parking space and installation of a water meter.

Four extra spots for child care are much needed in Juneau, but puts only a small dent in the overall need (goo.gl/P1A2u).

One of CBJ’s top ten priorities for 2011 was to “promote greater availability and affordability of child care for young working parents,” according to a Juneau Economic Development Council report.

The Council identified several issues Juneau faces regarding childcare in its report from Aug. 2011.

Around half of Juneau’s 2,300 youth under six years of age do not have a stay-at-home parent or access to a regulated childcare facility. Part of this lack of childcare stems from high provider turnover rates. Juneau’s 65 percent turnover rate nearly doubles the national average.

Childcare workers also face low wages. The average childcare worker makes less than half Juneau’s average salary of $44,000 and nearly $30,000 less than what is needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Juneau.

The average cost for child care in Juneau is $9,184 per child per year.

For more information about Jack and Jill’s Play Care call 523-1396.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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