Fairfield March 16, 2018
In November 2017, over fifty business and community leaders met to discuss child care challenges facing the Fairfield community. Forum participants provided creative ideas to solve the existing child care challenges. After, the forum participants formed a Child Care Steering Committee. The Child Care Steering Committee chose to conduct a market study to determine the amount of existing child care, to determine how much child care is needed by parents, and to determine which solutions will best meet the needs of businesses, parents, and the community.
Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Early Childhood Iowa Area in conjunction with Fairfield Economic Development Association, and the Child Care Steering Committee has contracted with First Children’s Finance to complete a child care market study. The first phase of the study will be a Child Care Market Analysis, which will include studying the supply and demand for child care in Jefferson County. A component of the research will include a survey of local employers and parents and how child care affects them. The parent survey can be accessed online from March 19 through April 10 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JeffersonCountyChildCare.
After the Child Care Market Analysis is complete, First Children’s Finance will facilitate a process that focuses on addressing Jefferson County’s child care needs. This process will include facilitated meetings to identify priorities and develop goals with detailed strategies and specific activities to address the child care needs identified in the market analysis.
Child Care Aware states “the impact of the lack of affordable, accessible high-quality child care on employers is written in the bottom line: adjusted for inflation, U.S. businesses lose approximately $4.4 billion annually due to employee absenteeism as the result of child care breakdowns.”