In working to support our members, we regularly hear childcare as a stumbling block for employees. As such, we are working on behalf of our members to better understand the current climate by conducting a feasibility study that will shed light on the current status in an effort to bring employers and employees together to determine areas of need. As such, community leaders are partnering together again to identify the need and ultimately solutions.
In partnership with the City of Grinnell and Grinnell College, and made possible by a state grant through Empower Rural Iowa, we are working with First Children’s Finance to complete the updated study. The effort is being driven locally by Jasper, Marion, Poweshiek Early Childhood Iowa (JMP ECI) and the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce. The study will include research and analysis on the needs of local families and children, the current supply of regulated child care, parents’ current and preferred child care, and effects on employers caused by lack of available care. From this data, a report will be compiled that identifies Grinnell’s child care gaps and will include recommendations on the ideal number and type of child care spots to best meet the community’s needs.
Previous Child Care Work: In 2018, Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce along with our partners and with assistance from First Children’s Finance surveyed Grinnell and the surrounding area on child care needs. According to a 2017 report from the Center for American Progress, Poweshiek County was declared a Childcare Desert. In an effort to address the situation, the childcare feasibility study commenced to better understand the child care needs in Grinnell. The study was guided by First Children’s Finance, a national non-profit organization with an office in Iowa which specializes in developing childcare feasibility studies and strategic plans.