As Jobs Draw Workers to NWA, Many Can't Find Child Care

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Families drawn to northwest Arkansas by the jobs available at the headquarters of national companies like Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods and J.B. Hunt find a booming economy with lots of options. But one sector has limited options that can seem nonexistent -- daycare centers. Residents say finding places to care for workers' children has become a nightmare.

Some daycares have waiting lists running into the years - even for a newborn.

There are 90 licensed daycare programs and facilities in Bentonville and Rogers alone. Officials say those, combined with all the unlicensed in-home daycares and Northwest Arkansas Head Start, still aren't enough.

The waiting list at Helen R. Walton Children's Enrichment Center in Bentonville is backed up for 15 months for infants, and for six to 12 months for any other age.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)