Childcare's Signficant Impact
09:15 AM - April 26, 2021
Where do you fit into the childcare equation?
Are you an employer who would like to know more about how to create a stable workforce through childcare? Are you a parent who needs support identifying care for your child? Are you interested in becoming a provider? What do you know about the state of child care in our county during the coronavirus pandemic?
When school districts shifted to remote learning, many childcare providers stayed open. Wading through a sea of dizzying regulatory changes, childcare providers were able to be a beacon of stability and resilience. Those who were forced to close, highlighted the already drastic need for affordable, accessible, and high quality childcare programs throughout the state.
Gone are the days of thinking of childcare as strictly a ‘family’ concern, where parents are solely responsible. With a workforce that is approximately one-third working parents, the success of our economy has been, and continues to be dependent on parents having safe and quality childcare options. This need for quality, reliable, and local child care options for families in our community has been on the mind of those of us in the El Dorado County’s Early Care and Education Child Care Planning Council.
In February 2020, we took on the goal of surveying the childcare needs of parents and families in El Dorado County. Distributing surveys to major employers such as county agencies, county offices of education, and smaller businesses. We looked to understand the issue of childcare instability from both the employer and the employee’s perspective. 119 employers, and 503 employees responded. Both groups indicated that childcare was a barrier for the workforce, with many employees who responded highlighting that they often missed work, arrived late, or had to leave early due to childcare concerns.
We used this data, in combination with real-time information highlighting the compounding effects of the pandemic’s influence on local childcare capacity, to present to the County Board of Supervisors three main recommendations. 1) Including Child Care Planning Council representatives in Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee meetings. 2) Allow Fast-tracking permitting and zoning applications to accommodate applications for new childcare programs, as well as those looking to expand. 3) Reduce or eliminate fees tied to expansion applications for childcare providers. We value our relationship with the Board of Supervisors, and look forward to our continued partnerships working towards increasing availability of childcare in our community.
In addition to supporting increasing the number of providers in our community, the Child Care Planning Council is dedicated to growing the knowledge and agency of those providers who are already in the field. Working in tandem with quality programs such as Quality Counts El Dorado, and the local Resource and Referral Agency Catalyst Community, we are helping to impact positive change within the community. Everyone benefits from childcare providers who are better informed, supported, and advocated for at the local and state-wide level.
No matter where you fit into the childcare equation, we invite you to reach out to us. Whether to find out more about care for young children, becoming a provider, or perhaps finding out more information about joining the Child Care Planning Council, we can help!
Please contact the El Dorado County Child Care Planning Council at (530) 295.2493.