Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityProgram helps solve childcare crisis by supporting parents, professionals | WKRC
Close Alert

Program helps solve childcare crisis by supporting parents, professionals

Program helps solve childcare crisis by supporting parents, professionals (WKRC)
Program helps solve childcare crisis by supporting parents, professionals (WKRC)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - There's a childcare crisis in the Tri-State partially caused by COVID-19 that shut down dozens of programs in counties across the area.

The childcare shortage forced some parents to forgo returning to work, exacerbating the national labor shortage.

The national exodus from early childhood education continues to hamstring Greater Cincinnati's working parents as providers close their doors for good, or limit enrollment due to the limited availability of childcare professionals.

4C for Children has addressed this crisis by developing the Child Care Careers Program. The innovative solution pairs "career navigators" -- people who are early childhood education experts -- with people who are interested in the childcare profession.

The goal is to expand the workforce and ensure more children in the region have access to quality, affordable childcare.

To date, 4C for Children has recruited over 50 potential childcare providers since launching the Child Care Careers Program in July 2022.

Roxana Holland is a doting first-time mom to her four-month-old daughter.

Doting quickly turned to stress when this mother had to go back to work.

“They put me on a waitlist that I feel like she would be graduated from high school by the time I get in,” said Holland.

Relief came when another mom told Holland about 4C for Children, which is based in Cincinnati and serves Southwest Ohio and Miami Valley -- essentially 15 counties in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.

“We teach the teachers and then we help families find that care that they are looking for,” said Vanessa Freytag, CEO of 4C for Children.

4C did the legwork for Holland to find a daycare so she could spend more time listening to those newborn giggles.

“I can’t even put into words how valuable that is,” said Holland.

And while one woman sleeps easy, another woman is having her dream come true.

Eri'Anna Turner’s grandmother fostered 160 children throughout her lifetime, and that has inspired Turner's life work of owning her own daycare.

She died when I was 12 and she was literally my everything. She took care of me," she said. "So this is one thing I want to do to keep her name alive.

Turner has had a business plan since 2015.

“I just set it to the side. I have been waiting for me to hit the lottery or something,” she said.

Through the Child Care Careers Program, career navigators actively recruit people and offer several avenues of support as candidates pursue a career in early childhood education.

That includes access to financial incentives and paid training, assistance with state-required training and required paperwork, and successful entry into the job market via career placement support, once a recruit has fulfilled all requirements.

“So we have career navigators, which is a completely new role we created, and we have had tremendous help from a number of funders,” said Freytag.

4C for Children is also offering support and resources to people interested in starting new childcare programs in Southwest Ohio:

  • Career navigators are assisting potential business owners from the very beginning to the day when the business opens its doors
  • A new, online resource library is available for starting and expanding childcare programs, including a digital pathway for obtaining a childcare business license
  • Access to local funding and support may be available to new childcare businesses
  • Ongoing coaching on best business practices for newly established businesses
My cousin called me, and she was like, 'They will pay for the program,'" said Turner. "I am like, 'Are you serious? They are going to pay for it? They are going to help us and work with us even though we have jobs?' I said, 'Call her right back.'

Right now, this program is funded by Cincinnati Preschool Promise and the City of Cincinnati, with more funders on the way.

“We now have over 50 folks who are working on becoming a teacher,” said Freytag.

The vicious cycle is now being reversed by a single organization that's changing the game.

Turner says, "You know, sometimes all you need is support."

If you are new to the field, and would like to start a career in childcare, click here for more information.

Comment bubble

Click here to fill out an interest form.

Loading ...