Childcare Expansion Best Practices

Childcare Expansion Best Practices Main Photo

4 Mar 2024

News, Childcare

Economic development issues are being solved by communities focusing on expanding childcare. Communities that lack critical childcare services routinely experience economic hardship due to parents forgoing promotions, reducing their hours, or leaving their jobs.

Fortunately, attention to childcare expansion is rising, with many smaller communities leading the way. Clients of Golden Shovel Agency are making strides to support working parents by creating childcare initiatives built to last – and they’re raising the bar to encourage other cities to do the same. These are just a few of the best practices they’ve established to successfully expand childcare resources.

Gage County Incentivises Licensing for New Childcare Providers

Dr. Melissa Trueblood and the economic development team in Gage County, Nebraska, conducted an in-depth study detailing the impact of inadequate childcare access. They found that a lack of consistently available childcare resulted in economic losses of over $6 million a year in Gage County alone. In addition, parents were suffering staggering losses in personal income due to missing work when childcare was unavailable.

Leaders at Gage County launched The Babysitting Clinic, a program for young entrepreneurs to start babysitting businesses. Additionally, they’ve provided monetary incentives for new childcare facilities to become licensed. Gage County’s three-year plan to expand childcare access has seen positive results, with four licensed childcare providers already receiving grants to increase their capacity.

Wyandotte County Supports Childcare Providers as Businesses

When the Wyandotte County Economic Development Council (WYEDC) found that young families were forgoing traditional childcare because of the cost, they reached out to local businesses for help. They organized a community symposium to hear from childcare providers about what they were lacking in their day-to-day operations. Local businesses and community leaders conducted a Q&A session and collaborated on possible solutions to the lack of affordable childcare.

According to Mindy Rocha, President and Owner of local business CJ Industries, childcare providers are often overlooked. “It’s necessary that community members realize that a childcare facility is a small business,” she reminded community leaders. “They’re not always seen that way.”

Skagit County Uses Data to Drive Change

Working with the Center for Retention and Expansion for Child Care, the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County is taking a deep dive into the community’s childcare resources. C-RECC data shows only 12.64% of childcare needs are being met.

Skagit County allocated $75,000 to fund employer-based childcare and provided technical assistance for employers looking for creative childcare options.

Leaning in to Change to Expand Childcare Access

These community leaders and more are leading the way to expand childcare access. Their local economies, business leaders, and employers are already beginning to see positive change by supporting young families.

Our team at Golden Shovel Agency is committed to helping other communities create the same impactful changes! To get access to our complete list of best childcare expansion practices, you can download our whitepaper here.