Baby Fox Academy opens in Lakewood Ranch amid child care shortage

Baby Fox Academy opens in Lakewood Ranch amid child care shortage

Amid a local and national crisis in child care, a bit of good news recently greeted families in eastern Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Baby Fox Academy, a lauded Sarasota preschool, opened a second center – this one in Lakewood Ranch.

And different from its Sarasota site – which is not open to children younger than 2 – this new location’s 91 slots will include spaces for infants and toddlers, an age group for whom a shortage of care is particularly tight.

The expansion comes as preschool centers around the region have closed or combined classrooms due to a shortage of teachers – a crisis worsened during the pandemic and now exacerbated by soaring housing costs that are pricing them out of the industry and the area. The shortage in child care, in turn, wreaks havoc in local communities and the economy – forcing parents to miss work or endure treacherous commutes to centers with openings.