In addition to supporting the health and wellbeing of area residents, health care providers are often major employers in the rural communities where they are located.
Quality child care impacts your workforce, and you have unique resources to help make a positive impact on local child care provider businesses. What ways can you partner with local child care providers to enhance services provided?
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.
Cater Meals and/or Snacks
Whether center-based or family-based, preparing and cooking meals can be expensive and time-consuming for providers. Partnerships between providers and staff in kitchens can allow more time to focus on the direct needs of the children in their care.
Purchase Child Care Slots
Child care is an industry where annual income can be uncertain. Families come and go, making it difficult for providers to predict what they will earn. Partnering with a business or organization to “purchase” child care slots allows the provider to know exactly when and what their income will be, and it means that business can offer spots to employees who need child care.
Inventory Staff Child Care Needs
Identifying the needs of your own staff can help develop a better understanding of ways this issue is impacting your business and employees, and potentially offer ideas of ways to help. Gathering this information can be done in many ways — a simple survey conducted internally or through an outside entity, one-on-one conversations with employees, a comment box, etc.
Offer Free Trainings
Trainings such as CPR and First Aid are required for child care providers. Groups that are already offering trainings can invite child care providers to attend a regularly scheduled training, at no cost, to help fill up a class.
- 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.