Editorial — A Model Program: Child Care Training Helps Individuals Start a Home-Based Business | Editorials
Childcare options for families were already an issue before the novel coronavirus emerged two years ago.
But the health care crisis has made the situation even worse. Some programs have been forced to close during the pandemic. This left fewer spaces available for parents to use for their children when they needed to return to their desks after working remotely for a period of time.
“The pandemic has been tough on parents – and they are not yet off the hook, even though most children are back in the classroom after more than a year of disrupted learning. Across the country, child care and after-school programs have been decimated by the pandemic, and families are facing waiting lists of months or even years,” according to an article published Oct. 8 by Marketplace.org. “And the shortage of childcare services is particularly acute in rural areas. A big reason, according to New York Times parenting columnist Jessica Grose, who has written about how different families are rising to the challenge, is that it’s difficult to hire child care workers in today’s job market. because the work is generally poorly paid.
To help solve this problem in the North Country, Jefferson Community College has partnered with Jefferson County, Lewis County, the Watertown Small Business Development Center and the Community Action Planning Council. They developed the first regulated home daycare training boot camp in the North of the country offered by JCC. It tells participants how to start their own child care business.
The program was successful. In fact, it has become a model for similar initiatives in other areas.
“Lewis and Jefferson counties are ahead of their efforts to increase registered child care opportunities. They have inspired other organizations and municipalities with their model and positive results so far. There are potentially 72 more child care openings in the two counties if each of the program’s nine new undergraduate state-registered providers support a full roster of children. As many as 136 new slots could arise from the 14 new home childcare businesses being developed in the second round of training which began March 8,” according to an April 2 article by the Watertown Daily Times. “The four-pronged action plan to help grow licensed child care opportunities includes multi-faceted training; small local grants to new equipment suppliers; support for existing child care centers to increase the number of children they can serve; and the provision of “retention bonus” funds to help existing centers retain their care providers despite the continued displacement of the workforce in many sectors. Lewis County was the catalyst for the program after targeting the lack of childcare services – which has become even more apparent during the pandemic – as a priority. The county’s planning department and economic development entity, Naturally Lewis, approached Jefferson Community College, the planning board, and the small business development board to create the early-year child care project. last year. Jefferson County joined the team soon after. Other counties and organizations noticed the program and demanded to know more.
The organizations overseeing this program perform an incredible service for families in Upstate New York. We commend them for the work they have done to make it easier to find good child care. We also hope that this idea will spread throughout the region to make this option even more accessible.