As a place where people gather to celebrate, grieve, worship and learn, communities of faith offer a unique service to the community. With many of these activities happening on the weekends, what other ways are you engaging with the community throughout the week? Have you considered ways to engage in the child care conversation? How do you serve families beyond traditional faith activities?
What can we do to help?
Provide Free Training Space
In addition to fees to attend trainings, it has become increasingly difficult to find spaces to accommodate trainings for providers during evenings and weekends. Providing access to meeting, conference or board rooms (free of charge) increases the probability providers can attend trainings locally, or within reasonable distances. Visit the training spaces page to view the list of available free training spaces in southwest Minnesota. You can also add your training space to the list using this submission form.
Own and Operate Child Care
Child care can be operated in many ways, including a business-owned and operated program. This solution is great for businesses or organizations that want to support employees through a direct service. On-site or off-site, offering employees a child care option can be an incentive to attract and retain talent.
The opportunity to lease vacant space for a family-based child care provider can fill an empty space and offer a child care provider an opportunity to run a business outside of the home. Additionally, partnerships like these can create opportunities to cost share other utilities and/or services.
Is there an opportunity to provide after-school care for school-age children in your building? Often providers are holding spots during the day for school-age children, eliminating spots for younger children. Check with your local child care providers to see if offering year-round care for school-age kids would benefit their businesses and the community.
Expand Existing Preschool Programs
Consider the opportunity to grow a preschool program that is already operating by extending it to a full day. This can help ease the burden of worrying about transportation to and from the program for families, and potentially open spots for more kids at other child care businesses.
- Southwest Initiative Foundation: Child Care in Action (PDF) This fact sheet explores the five areas of focus for the foundation’s work supporting quality, affordable child care — a critical part of our economy and communities in southwest Minnesota.
- Southwest Initiative Foundation: Bright Beginnings Loan Program This fact sheet explores the five areas of focus for the foundation’s work supporting quality, affordable child care — a critical part of our economy and communities in southwest Minnesota.
- The Business Case for Investing in High-Quality Child Care (PDF) This fact sheet highlights the child care industry’s economic and job impact in Minnesota.
- Child Care Aware of Minnesota West/Central District Child Care Aware provides families, child care programs, and the community with information and support for quality child care that is affordable and accessible.
- First Children’s Finance First Children’s Finance provides loans and business-development assistance to high-quality child care businesses serving low- and moderate-income families.