LEWIS COUNTY, NY – Lewis County Economic Development, in partnership with Lewis County Planning Department, the Community Action Planning Council (CAPC), Jefferson Community College (JCC), and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), have developed an accelerated program to empower, educate, and launch new regulated in-home day care facilities in Lewis County. The Regulated Home Day Care Training Bootcamp will work to support the urgent demand for affordable, safe, high-quality childcare in Lewis County and the North Country while fostering entrepreneurship and the creation of 15 new in-home childcare businesses in the first year.
In 2019, the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country issued a report indicating that 86% of North Country census tracts were identified as childcare deserts, meaning there is not enough childcare to meet local needs. In Lewis County, there are 7.8 children for each regulated childcare slot available and 94% of the county is considered a childcare desert. In total, there are only 472 childcare slots available in the County compared to approximately 3,700 children.
“We recognize that parents need to have high-quality childcare options if they are going to be able to work,” said Cathy Brodeur, Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project Director. “CAPC is grateful for this partnership to build childcare capacity, and to launch a new cohort of childcare businesses to contribute to Lewis County’s prosperity. This initiative is an investment in success for children, families, and employers.”
The North Country Regulated Home Day Care Training Bootcamp is recruiting for the first cohort to begin in June 2021 at the Lewis County JCC Education Center. The program is FREE for participants, with the support of Lewis County Economic Development, and includes guidance from CAPC, JCC and the SBDC to become licensed in-home daycare providers with the entrepreneurship and childhood education skills needed to run a successful business. As an incentive to becoming a regulated home daycare provider, students will be able to take advantage of a childcare stipend to attend classes, and newly registered and licensed providers participating in the Regulated Home Day Care Training Bootcamp will have the opportunity to participate in an additional free 3-credit course to support the success of their new venture and to earn a JCC Certificate of Completion.
“The development of childcare opportunities is one of the foundations needed for economic development and growth in Lewis County, said Brittany Davis, Executive Director of Lewis County Economic Development. “We are very excited to provide the funding needed to kick off this pilot program to not only address the childcare need, but also to foster entrepreneurship, workforce development and to retain and attract residents to Lewis County. Through partnerships, we were able to quickly and diligently come up with creative solutions that will solve a large issue in our communities.”
The program consists of two parts:
“Collaborating with these organizations to quickly address a community’s specific needs and provide innovative solutions is a testament to the power of workforce partnerships in the North Country and the value of having Jefferson as the community's college in our region,” said Dr. Maryrose Eannace, Vice-President for Academic Affairs. “Successful completion of this program will help provide support to the economic recovery of the area by adding entrepreneurs to the community and by helping residents get the childcare they need in order to work.”
The creation of the Regulated Home Day Care Training Bootcamp utilizes local organizations, facilities, and funds to begin to mitigate an age-old issue and provide new career opportunities to local residents. Lewis County is continuing to work with stakeholders on additional long-term solutions to the childcare issue in the North Country.
To register for the North Country Regulated Home Day Care Training Bootcamp, please visit the Jefferson Community College to sign up for the June 2021 Orientation. Alternate arrangements for completing the orientation can be made by calling (315) 782-4900 ext 240 or ext 279.