Talk of Alaska: The child care crisis

a line of toy cars and trucks on the ground
Tawni Jetter created a play area for her two toddler boys amidst waiting for an opening in child care. (Mizelle Mayo/Alaska Public Media)

For working families across Alaska, the challenge of finding affordable, quality childcare is not new, but during the pandemic, the already limited capacity for childcare was further restricted. The lack of available help is spiking the costs of care and  forcing parents to make difficult decisions about whether to keep jobs or even stay in the state. Is there any relief on the horizon from either state or federal policymakers? We discuss the crisis in childcare on this Talk of Alaska.


HOST: Lori Townsend


  • Tracey Schaeffer – Occupational therapist, working to start a child care facility in Kotzebue
  • Laura Norton-Cruz – Child care advocate, executive producer of At Home/In Home: Rural Alaska Childcare in Crisis
  • Kevin Berry – Economist, board member of Thread Alaska



Call 907-550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast.

Send an email to (Comments may be read on air).

Post your comment during or after the live broadcast on social media (Comments may be read on air).

LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, May 16 at 10 a.m. on Alaska public radio stations statewide.

Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her news tips and program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-550-8452.

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