The United Way of Hancock County says there’s still time to provide valuable input on childcare needs to help inform collaborative efforts to implement solutions across Hancock County.
Over 550 people — including parents of children in care, prospective parents, grandparents and parents of grown children — have filled out the Hancock County Childcare Survey so far.
The survey is designed to help community leaders quantify and understand gaps in current childcare opportunities. Input is still being sought, and the short survey can be filled out by clicking here.
A related survey, targeted toward HR professionals and business leadership, can be found at the same webpage. Results from both surveys will be posted to the page by late summer.
The collaborative effort is being coordinated by Blanchard Valley Health System, Hancock County Job & Family Services, Findlay Family YMCA, The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation and United Way of Hancock County, along with concerned residents. A similar process was recently carried out in McComb and led to a $1 million grant to build a new childcare facility in the village.
“We heard from our community during Community Conversations how important high-quality, affordable childcare is to residents of Hancock County. Completing this survey will strengthen the information we have to all work together to address this need,” said Brian Treece, president and CEO of The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation.
Community leaders are eager to review the results of the survey, which seeks to understand gaps in individual childcare offerings and the ways those gaps are impacting families’ employment and overall quality of life.
“Even before the pandemic, the availability of childcare was one of the biggest barriers to families wishing to return to the workforce and for employers to recruit and retain quality employees. Since the pandemic, the need for childcare has only increased,” said Randall Galbraith, director of Hancock County Job & Family Services.
“The partnerships surrounding daycare in Hancock County have netted some big wins already, and the completion of the surveys by both the public and employers will greatly assist us in targeting our continued efforts to improve the availability and quality of childcare. I strongly encourage businesses and individuals to take the time to complete the surveys. Quality data leads to quality solutions,” Galbraith added.
“During the pandemic, a key attribution came into play. That is, by ‘working together we can accomplish more.’ Participation in these surveys will help us understand our community’s needs around daycare and empower us towards solutions that strengthen the community,” said Myron D. Lewis, president and CEO of Blanchard Valley Health System.
“As one of the child development providers in our community, we recognize the importance of offering a nurturing and supportive environment for children to develop and grow while allowing caregivers to return to the workforce,” said Stephanie Parsons, CEO of the Findlay YMCA. “Our ultimate goal for childcare in the community is to fill as many gaps as possible. We know that the best way to identify those gaps is by hearing the needs directly from the families who utilize childcare services.”
Visitors to this webpage will also find a list of Hancock County childcare providers, along with a printable poster to hang in their workplace.