The pandemic has led to a variety of shortages and now West Michigan faces a new one and that is childcare and daycare centers.

My son and even his older brother, at one time needed daycare because both parents were working during the day. So I know what it's like to have a child in daycare and to search for a good one that is safe and affordable, its not easy at anytime let alone during a pandemic.

We here about shortages all the time because of the pandemic, like parts for trucks and cars, products made overseas, different types of food but I never really thought about daycare shortages since my sons mom now works from home and eliminated need for daycare.

According to FOX 17, if you thought finding daycare was tough in 2020, 2021 is way worse because so many childcare centers and at home daycares have closed their doors out of safety concerns and lack of staffing.

As families are returning back to the workplace there is a constant need for childcare in West Michigan and many are struggling to find a place to put their child. Plus, because of COVID-19 many daycare centers have lowered the amount of kids they take in out of safety until children under 12 can be vaccinated.

Many parents are now being put on daycare waiting lists or being turned away all together because the shortage is very real and the demand is huge. Where there is a demand, usually means the prices go up as well.

Staffing has been another issue. Many daycare workers and independent in-home daycare owners and workers have walked away from the industry out of their own safety. If a childcare center doesn't have enough workers, they have to limit the number of children they can take in.

FOX 17 reported back in March of this year that as of March of 2020 to March 2021, there were 47 childcare centers closed down in Michigan and 232 at home daycare closed as well.

Since then, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, another 96 at home daycare centers have closed with 49 childcare centers shutting down as well. This is all happening now in real time as parents are being called to come back to work in the office.

It is a tough market right now with childcare centers and at home daycare, but if you have always wanted to be in the field, there are tons of opportunities out there for you. Plus this might be the gateway for you owning your own daycare someday.

See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

Using government and news reports, Stacker has traced the history of cafeteria meals from their inception to the present day, with data from news and government reports. Read on to see how various legal acts, food trends, and budget cuts have changed what kids are getting on their trays.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]