The Issue: Parents in Routt County can't find reliable licensed child care options. This puts a strain on families and our community as a whole.
According to the most recent Colorado Kids Count survey, nearly 80% of children under the age of 6 in Routt County have all parents working outside the home. The economic vitality of our community is dependent on working parents. However, we are at a crisis point in the availability of care for children 0-2.
I know this challenge all too well myself. When my son Clark was born two years ago, we were without consistent, reliable child care for six months. We got by with help from a series of babysitters, family, friends, and generous bosses before finally getting a coveted spot at a child care center.
Over the past few weeks, with the First Impressions Early Childhood Council, I've been a part of a process to understand local needs in early childhood and create a community plan to address them. Sitting with other parents, I've heard stories similar to my own - parents who consider unsafe options, rely on inconsistent options, or have to quit working or leave town. (If you're interested in contributing to this process, click here for more information or add your thoughts to our survey here).
We must identify and implement solutions to ensure that all families have access to safe and reliable child care in Routt County. Currently, we only have enough licensed childcare available to meet about 15% of the need for children 0-2 in Routt County. This means employers have trouble hiring and retaining employees, parents are stressed, and children end up in less than ideal environments.
I am prepared to put forth innovative solutions and implement the solutions identified through the early childhood plan process to alleviate demand and create supply to increase the availability of childcare for all working families in Routt County.
Questions or suggestions? Contact me directly. I am always interested in discussing childcare and other local issues.