Families with working parents rely on quality child care providers to supervise, nurture and protect their children when they are at their jobs. Recently, however, the community of Granite Falls and many other cities in the area have seen a decrease in the number of providers that has now led to a severe shortage. On July 18 a community-wide meeting is scheduled to discuss what can be done. There are a myriad of reasons why this is happening; well-deserved-retirements, alternative job opportunities, individuals that stayed home with their own children are now sending them to school as they have aged our of day care, or the rules and regulations required for licensing have become too much to manage.

Parents who were taking their children to the Prairieland Child Care Center were just informed that the facility is closing. This will result in at least twenty-four children not having a place to be during the day when Mom and/or Dad are working or attending school. With the lack of Family Child Care already, this is being seen as a crisis! In response, a small group of community members has started discussions about what the community can do to recruit individuals to become licensed for Family Child Care (provided in your own home) or center-based care. Because of the relationship between employment and the need for child care, the Granite Falls Economic Development Director, Cathy Anderson, has been brought in on these discussions.

She has scheduled the July 18 meeting whereby all interested persons are invited to share their ideas on how to overcome our current situation. This will be held at City Hall at 6:30p.m. Interested Persons include parents needing child care, employers who have individuals working for them that require child care, persons interested in becoming a child care provider, and anyone else who recognizes the gravity of the situation.