Child care is a critical component to the success of a local business. While it may be a silent partner, considering what the child care business environment is like in your community is very important. Think about who uses child care — you or your employees? What kind of care is or is not available locally? Does that impact your staff?
What can we do to help?
Financial Support for Trainings
Finding quality trainers who are properly approved can be tough for child care providers. Often providers are required to travel long distances, which may require them to close their business early to attend, or a trainer may charge significant fees to provide local trainings. Helping offset the costs for child care providers to attend quality trainings can ensure they are receiving timely and affordable trainings to maintain quality care.
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.
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.
- 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.