West Central Initiative

COVID-19 Impact

The state’s stay-at-home order greatly impacted child-care providers. A large percentage of the providers lost 50% to 70% of the children in their care, along with the income associated with those children. Other providers expanded their hours to accommodate specific employers, such as the local hospital, continuing their child care from early morning until late into the night. Many providers also expanded their care to school-age children, providing space and technology to continue with distance learning. This is all at a time when disinfectant products and toiletries are scarce and food costs are increasing.

Emergency Fund

West Central Initiative leverages partnerships to provide families and communities in west-central Minnesota with the resources they need to thrive. With support from Home Grown, they allocated $1,000 to every 100 family-based providers on a first-come, first-served basis. Most funds were used for cleaning supplies, infrared thermometers, food—and even mortgage payments.

Timing is Everything: Enhancing Comprehensive Services in Family Child Care with Early Head Start Partnerships

During the COVID-19 pandemic, home-based child care (HBCC) has remained open, struggling to respond to increased child and family needs and new health, safety, and business challenges. Meeting the physical, mental, social, and economic needs of children, families, and providers has never been more pressing; new attention and funding are needed to ensure that home-based providers can fully participate in and support access to these critical services.

The Aunt Bees of America

During her convention speech last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren, sitting in a now closed child care center, spoke about the critical role informal, home-based child care played in her story. She spoke about her Aunt Bee, who stepped in to take care of Warren’s children when she was juggling a full-time teaching job in Texas.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association