Access to child care is the fastest growing economic issue in southwest Minnesota. We are committed to finding solutions that help families, employers and communities — supporting project finance, planning and technical assistance, professional development for providers, public policy and advocacy. But this is just the beginning, and we can’t do it alone. What can you do where you live? Here are 10 ideas for community solutions in child care:
- Consider new business models such as public/private/nonprofit partnerships and on-site, employer-provided care.
- Explore the roles of churches, schools and intergenerational facilities for shared overhead and engagement opportunities.
- Provide cash assistance for child care through agencies, programs and employers.
- Support child care centers and home-based providers with business planning, financing and other tools.
- Reach out to lawmakers and elected officials to ensure they know child care is a crisis in the region and that these enterprises are critical for communities, businesses and talent retention and attraction.
- Support efforts that streamline requirements for new and existing providers.
- Acknowledge the critical importance of child care providers in a strong local economy.
- Organize and support provider appreciation events and activities.
- Partner with high schools and local community and technical colleges to establish career pathways in child development.
- Host inclusive community conversations to create awareness, urgency and action plans.
Learn more about our work in rural child care, part of Southwest Initiative Foundation’s Grow Our Own initiative to help all our kids reach their full potential — from cradle to career.