BEND, OR — The lack of available child care is a growing problem in Central Oregon and the issue is the focus of meetings with employers and providers today in La Pine and Bend. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Katy Brooks says the shortage of child care creates problems for parents and employers. She says between higher rents and expensive labor costs, child care providers are being hurt financially while parents can’t find or in many cases can’t afford care. Brooks says more than one-third of employers surveyed say 25-to-50-per cent of their workforce needs child care service. Brooks says parents of newborn infants face waiting list times of up to 18-months for child care. She says that means one of the parents may not be able to return to work, or, the family will have to find a different way to make ends meet.