CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- It's a struggle so many central Virginia families know all too well: finding affordable child care. It's a problem that's getting worse, but there are efforts in Washington to try and ease the crisis.

As the summer months roll around, many parents are looking to put their kids in day cares while they go to work or fulfill other obligations. But some are having a hard time figuring out options.

"We have way more calls and need for child care than we have spots," said Ervenna Ashnafi, the lead teacher at A Mother’s Touch Childcare in Charlottesville.

Ashnafi sees it every day. Parents just can't find day care for their kids. 

"Constantly, almost every day, getting phone calls, even text messages and emails," said Princess Long, the owner of A Mother’s Touch Childcare.

Long is noticing the uptick of parents trying hard to find a place for their kids. Jessica Coughlin, a mother of two, tried numerous places when she was searching and says it's a frustrating process.

"I get it. We chose to have these kids and we love our kids, but we still have to work, we still have to make a living, we still have to pay the mortgage and the car payment," Coughlin said.

It's a problem drawing the attention of federal lawmakers. Senator Tim Kaine admits there is a child care crisis in Virginia. He and some of his colleagues recently reintroduced a bill that would increase federal investment in accessible and affordable child care by doing three things.

"More affordability, better compensation for those who work, and an economic effect that would get many more people in the workforce for the good of the country," he said.

Kaine, whose son is an early childhood educator, says part of the staffing shortage is low pay.

"Nobody does child care to make money, but many stop doing it or never go into it because of money," he said.

Long is feeling the stress in the industry.

"It’s just tough out there. It’s tough not only for the parents, but it’s also tough on us as well because sometimes our hands are just tied," she said.

According to a release, the cost of child care has increased by 220 percent over the last three decades. Kaine says this bill will help ease that number and benefit the economy as more people enter the workforce.