Douglass Community Services hosting childcare networking event

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 3:54 AM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The state of Missouri is partnering with childcare advocates and local providers to help solve the issues facing the industry and increase access for parents.

Douglass Community Services is helping to organize the Northeast Missouri Provider Network, a partnership between Missouri’s Office of Childhood, Kids Win Missouri to help address the problems regarding childcare across Missouri.

CEO Stephanie Cooper said they are holding a Zoom summit Wednesday for 125 providers across 15 counties in Northeast Missouri, giving them a chance to be heard and provide input on what they are seeing, as they tend to be left out of talks surrounding childcare.

“Many of our childcare providers just have difficulty finding employees that are interested in coming in and working,” she said. “As you know, childcare is a business and so sometimes our childcare providers don’t have a lot of experience in say, budgeting and financial forecasting.”

Cooper said she hopes this summit will allow them to form partnerships with each other to help address the problems like navigating licensing, applying for grants or funding, or other financial matters.

Douglass Head Start director Faith Carr said the most difficult part of running a daycare is trying to find people passionate about the job and trying to get them to stay in the industry. She said another issue providers face is navigating guidelines, training, and state government regulations, which can be exhausting for providers unfamiliar with them. She said this can impact childcare that’s available for parents.

“I get a lot of people that want to go back to work and as soon as we can find a slot for them, they could go back to work, but they’ve got to have that consistent care. They can’t say, ‘Oh well, I’ll come to work for a few days but I’ll now have to stay home,’” Carr said.

Carr said the hope the networking allows other providers to either form partnerships with other providers in Northeast Missouri, which in turn can help those providers learn how other run their operations and they can incorporate it into their business.

The summit is Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. If you are a childcare center and would like to participate, you can call Douglass Community Services at (573) 221-3892 and ask for Stephanie Cooper.

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