Southern Indiana counties to focus on childcare

Southern Indiana counties to focus on childcare.
Southern Indiana counties to focus on childcare.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 6:40 AM CDT
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INDIANA (WFIE) - Seven southern Indiana counties are working together to better understand the supply and demand of childcare within the region.

The Southern Indiana Gateway region is comprised of Crawford, Dubois, Orange, Perry, Pike and Spencer Counties.

The region earned its official designation as a 21st Century Talent Region in June of 2021.

According to Southern Indiana Gateway, “Lack of access to child care is becoming increasingly recognized as a critical issue impacting workforce participation and talent attraction, especially in rural communities.”

To combat this, the region is partnering with Transform Consulting Group to get data like the number of child care spots open in each county, the quality of the spots, as well as the cost of child care per county.

“From an economic development perspective, it is critical to understand supply in terms of how many seats actually meet the needs of working parents,” said Erin Emerson, Perry County Development Corporation Executive Director, “lack of access to child care is negatively impacting the daily lives and decisions of residents in our region and the productivity and bottom lines of local businesses.”

County Chamber of Commerce officials with Dubois County, one of the counties that are part of the Southern Indiana Gateway, say it’s vital to ensure children have access to early learning child care.

Now that the project is underway, the focus is set on gathering quantitative data through provider outreach in the next few months.

The final report from the project, which will include benchmarking research on successful strategies, data on national and regional trends, and information on the multigenerational impact of high-quality early childhood education, is set to be released in July, according to the organizations.

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