United Way Hosts New Event to Address Needs of Child Care Providers

The "United for Child Care" event helped child care providers learn new skills to help children

FARGO, N.D. — At the first “United for Child Care” event held by United Way of Cass Clay, many child care providers learned valuable lessons to help them in meeting the needs of children.

“Whether it’s a social or emotional issue, if they’re having some sort of difficulty, so it’s balancing that while providing a really enriching early program,” said Vanessa Strobel, the District Coordinator for Child Care Aware of Minnesota, Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership.

But in a growing community, finding the right care to best help kids might be hard to find.

“Quality, affordable child care is a huge issue in our community and this professional development could often be costly for providers,” said Michael Hill, the Community Impact Director for United Way of Cass Clay.

According to Child Care Aware of North Dakota, there are nearly 100,000 children that potentially need child care, but the child care centers in North Dakota can only accommodate 35,000.

Some say having to juggle all their developmental needs can be tough.

“Providers work very hard. It’s a taxing field to be in, and just finding the time, the energy and the supports and giving them opportunities to learn,” said Tara Wateland, the Program Specialist for Bright and Early.

To keep up with the ever–changing world of childcare, many providers seek out opportunities like the new United for Child Care training event to help children learn valuable skills in social, physical, and psychological development.

United Way of Cass Clay gathered child care providers to give them a whole arsenal of tips to help their children.

“The United Way as a community organization, our goal is to support the professional development of these centers, and providing it at a very low cost, it allows them to get basically six months of training in one day,” said Hill.

With some new skills in their back pocket, child care providers can adjust their methods to help children achieve their potential.

Child Care Aware of North Dakota says just over half of the children that were referred to state–licensed child care services in Cass County last year were under the age of two.

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