"Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." - John F. Kennedy
Childcare is a topic of high importance and need for so many. Lack of childcare has ripple effects and can result in losing high-quality job recruits, potential workers staying out of the workforce to tend to their kids and/or loss of potential employees to other communities.
In Sheridan County we are fortunate to have a childcare home, Little Paws Daycare, in Selden, in partnership with USD 316 Golden Plains Elementary School as well as several wonderful private providers in Hoxie; however, currently, we are lacking enough daycare options for young families and/or those wishing to start families.
The Sheridan County Community Foundation along with two community-member committees are working to help determine and address the current childcare needs in our county.
Committee #1: Non-Profit Partner Model
This committee will explore options to develop childcare options under a non-profit organization, such as the school, city, county, hospital, that can create attractive staff positions and have access to grant support. This group will also explore the establishment of funding partners to support the endeavor.
Committee #2: For-Profit/Private Provider Support Resources
This committee will explore resources to support and incentivize existing and potential providers with an "infrastructural investment in childcare" by the county and communities therein in mind. Possible resources could include property tax discounts to providers; working with local banks to craft financing options in support of establishing a daycare purchasing equipment/supplies, etc.; setting up a shared resources portal for providers to collaborate; develop a volunteer network; tax/financial education for providers; start-up grants to assist new providers in acquiring licensing/training, etc.; and more.
To assess the real needs of the county, we are requesting feedback from parents and business owners.
Please take a few minutes to complete either survey as it applies to your situation by visiting www.growsheridancounty.org/childcareneeds and clicking the appropriate “Parent Survey” or “Business Survey” link.
If you would like additional information about the Sheridan County Childcare Stakeholder group, contact Karl Pratt, board liaison, Sheridan County Community Foundation at email@example.com or 785-675-1240.
For a list of current daycare providers in Sheridan County, please visit hoxieareachamber.com/newtotown. You can also visit Child Care Aware of Kansas online at ks.childcareaware.org or call 1-877-678-2548.
If you are interested in starting a private childcare business or working in a future community-wide childcare option, please contact Pratt with the Foundation.
SCCF is an affiliate of the Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation based in Bird City. The foundation seeks to encourage, prudently manage, and distribute charitable contributions to improve the quality of life in Sheridan County residents, now and in the future. To learn more, contact Pratt at 785-675-1240, firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.growsheridancounty.org. Connect with SCCF at www.facebook.com/sheridanccf.