BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A Beckley daycare operator said a challenge to providing daycare in West Virginia is the state’s dismal workforce participation rate.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the rate was around 54 percent in December 2022, among the lowest in the nation.

Becky Sparks, owner of Bullfrogs and Butterflies Day Care Center on Ragland Road, said her facility is licensed to give care to 108 children but may only provide care to 16 children due to a worker shortage.

“I’m hearing it from all areas, in all different daycare situations,” Sparks said on Thursday, January 26, 2023. “I can’t even find a cook, and that’s a full-time position. All of my positions are full-time positions.”

She said she must often pay her employees overtime due to the shortage.