DHS closes Bellevue daycare center for staffing shortage

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 8:01 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Tennessee Department of Human Services closed a Bellevue KinderCare indefinitely for staffing shortages, highlighting the ongoing crisis in the daycare industry.

Molly Sheffield and her husband were among dozens of parents scrambling on Sunday to find childcare after DHS shutdown Harpeth KinderCare. The call came on Sunday.

“We needed to come and pick up our daughter,” Sheffield said.

The closing has left the Sheffields in a bind.

“We can’t take off work. My husband and I both work full time. We have bills to pay,” Sheffield said.

“We’ve had, I think, five closures between our two kids in the last three weeks,” Rachel Morgan said.

Morgan sends her kids to Hickory KinderCare, a facility that remains open, but classrooms close any time there’s a staff shortage, forcing her to work from home.

“You can’t hold a busy 11-month-old and type,” Morgan said. “I either work after hours after they go to bed and make up for the work that I missed, or I have to take PTO or unpaid time.”

Morgan believes the shortage comes down to wages.

“Unless the daycare providers can figure out a way to offer daycare workers more money. Until that changes, I don’t see that it’s going to get better,” she said.

A spokesperson for DHS said a malfunctioning septic tank at Harpeth KinderCare that has since been repaired also lead to the shutdown. DHS said it is working with the agency to allow them to reopen.

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