Child care is a vital service for many families, and a crucial support element for our workforce. It enables parents to work or pursue further education while providing a safe, nurturing environment for their children to learn and grow. However, access to child care is not equal across communities, and rural communities tend to almost always have fewer child care options and higher costs than urban areas.
If you’re a Cordova resident with children under the age of 5, please help us gather information about the need for child care in Cordova by filling out a short, 2 minute survey here.
A shortage of options leaves a ripple effect across communities. Working parents are left to constantly battle coordinating back-to-back babysitters, face reducing their hours, or even consider temporarily leaving the workforce. The energy spent attending to the lack of child care leads to brain drain, and at times, considering the high cost of rural community living, to talented and educated individuals wishing to leave the community. While government-funded efforts are underway to address the gaps in child care, assistance is not always available to families in need– more needs to be done. By taking action to address the lack of child care options in our rural communities, we not only benefit those in need, but help to ensure that all children in our communities are set up for future success.
PWSEDD is looking for ways to support development of additional local child care infrastructure by supporting current facilities and the creation of home-based child care options, such as in-home day care providers. Valdez is currently preparing to host its first Child Care Symposium in February, 2023, where community members can receive CPR training and support in registering as a child care provider, with child care available for participants at the event.
Grant funding is now available to individuals looking to become a licensed child center or home through thread, a statewide network of childcare resource and referral services. Child care homes can care for 8 children or fewer, only need one licensed administrator, and qualify for QI grant funding to cover training and start-up costs. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2023.