- 22 person Jefferson County Child Care Steering Committee was formed. It included executives from business, economic development, the school district, child care agencies and elected officials.
- The purpose of the Steering Committee was to provide oversight for assessing the need, implementing the Strategic Plan, ongoing evaluation of the plan, provide approval of ECI expansion/startup grants and share updates with community.
$4.7 Million Fundraising Goal
We’re getting there. With your help, we’ve got this!
Feeling the Pain & Asking the Question
In 2017, Fairfield Economic Development Association (FEDA) & Early Childhood Iowa Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Counties (ECI), the Fairfield Community School District and Pathfinders RC&D pulled together 50 businesses and community leaders from 30 organizations for a facilitated dialogue to determine whether access to child care, was an issue for employers.
The consensus was a resounding YES.
6 Step Action Plan
Engagement Through Public-Private Partnerships
Assessing the Need
The Steering Committee recommended a child care market study be conducted. First Children’s Finance was contracted to conduct the study. ECI funded the study giving the Steering Committee oversight of the design and implementation.
- Surveyed 438 employees/parents and 10 businesses
- Findings were 539 child care spaces short in Jefferson County
- 70% of employers identified issues with productivity and or absenteeism related to child care
- 40% of employers identified having challenges hiring employees related to child care challenges
- 60 % of parents identified having trouble finding child care
- 66% of parents have reported missing work related to child care
Strategic Plan - Data Driven Decisions
- Assist current center-based providers in expanding
- Assist new and existing home-based providers with startup and expansions
- Add another child care center to Fairfield
- Startup and Expansion Grant Program created for center-based providers. Funded by ECI, oversaw by the Steering Committee, and administered by CCR&R
- Registered Home Provider Incentive Program created – new and current home providers. Funded and administered by ECI, and oversaw by the Steering Committee
- Form an independent Non-Profit Corporation – led by FEDA, ECI, and business executives- plans to add a new child care center to Fairfield
- Assisted 3 child care centers in expanding with ECI Funds$ 21,000/ impacted 50 spaces $420/per space
- New Child care home provider incentive program, 5 new providers (56 new spaces)
- Current child care home provider incentive program, 3 new providers (40 new retained)
- Adding a 185-space new child care center – aimed to be funded by the business community. $4.7M Capital Campaign for construction and $4.7M currently pledged
- 3.5-acre site donated
- February 2020 – fundraising begins
- Spring 2022 construction begins
- Early 2023, child care facility opens/begin operations