Columbia-Greene Community College announces new childcare initiative
Liz Montgomery reports for Porcupine Soup that on Nov. 14 Columbia-Greene Community College announced it is collaborating with Family of Woodstock and Columbia-Greene Workforce NY on educational and financial support for anyone interested in opening in-home childcare programs. “There are only 50 daycares in Columbia and Greene Counties. Combined, they are serving more than 110,000 people ― that is just one daycare provider per 2,200 people,” said Chris Nardone, director at Columbia-Greene Workforce NY. According to a recent report, in Greene County, childcare providers could accommodate 926 kids in 2020. By 2022 that number had decreased by 32 percent to 634. In Columbia County, capacity plunged 34 percent from 1,535 to 1,018 during the same period of time. “Childcare options in rural parts of the counties are the most limited, and more childcare options will help those rural families get back into the workforce,” Nardone said. The Family Child Care Training program is focused on reducing workforce difficulties created by the lack of local childcare options, especially those in Columbia and Greene counties’ rural communities, where childcare services are the most limited. That program aims to bolster and grow a rural childcare network. The Family Child Care Training Program will provide training, equipment, and physical plant modifications to people opening an in-home childcare program. Starting with an informational session, the program includes mandatory health and safety training, as well as Office of Children and Family Services Orientation, CPR/First Aid for adults and children, and education about business practices. Training and other support will be available at no cost to eligible participants through grants from Columbia-Greene Workforce NY. The project is expected to launch in January 2023. Read more at porcupine soup [dot] com.