The Black Hawk Child Care Coalition works alongside community partners, businesses, and child care providers to eliminate barriers and determine solutions around the child care demand.
Business & Child Care: Building & Expanding Solution
Goals: Finding expansion opportunities in Northeast Iowa. Finding solutions for businesses.
Solutions: Working alongside local businesses to determine their child care needs. We have also created a Business model that gives businesses options for what a Business partnership could look like and also implementing Child Care friendly policies. This group also created the Center in the Box alongside the Iowa Women’s Foundation. The Center in the box is a resource that gives new programs a guide to know where to start when opening a new Child Care Center. This model is being implemented statewide by Child Care Resource and Referral Child Care Consultants.
Child care & Entrepreneurs Community College & Child Care
Goals: Create and offer more Business training opportunities for the Child Care Field.
Solutions: Hawkeye Community College and Child Care Resource and Referral are partnering to develop more business trainings for Child Care Center Directors. This group is assessing what we currently offer and working alongside the Mentor Solution to develop more options. Trainings topics that have been requested are: Human Resource, Labor laws and managing finances.
Child Care Mentor Solution
Goals: Create mentors within the child care community that will create partnerships and more professional development.
Solutions: This group is evaluating the needs of our current child care center directors. We will create resources, additional professional development, and more support for those entering the field and those in the field currently.
Non-English Speaking Community Solution
Solutions: Interpretation and translation services for our non-English speaking population continues to be a challenge for employers in the community. A high demand for services and the great diversity in languages spoken continue to challenge our processes.
The former refugee population in Black Hawk County is a large pool of qualified and highly motivated individuals who wish to be employed, however many barriers are hampering their ability for long-term successful employment. Our coalition identifies this population as a real asset to our workforce and is actively seeking solutions for successful placement and child care.
The coalition is partnering with EMBARC who currently provides outreach services to over 2,000 refugees in Waterloo. EMBARC recognizes that their clients experience many barriers for employment and retention due to lack of culturally acceptable child care, translation and interpretation availability, and transportation barriers. EMBARC recently completed a needs assessment for both child care and workforce readiness to determine opportunities and barriers. This team will continue to determine solutions as the needs assessment is evaluated.
- Hawkeye Community College (HCC) and Exceptional Persons, Inc. (EPI) joined efforts to open the ALC Child Development Center. Center opened January 14, 2019 with 56 slots available to employees and students of EPI/HCC and also the community. Start-up funding was received from Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.
- It Takes a village (Friendship Village) Child Care opened a child care center in July of 2019. The 7,000 square foot building will house 107 children with 24/7 care and a get well center.
- Dunkerton community learning center opened August of 2019! This program surveyed their community and formed a committee of community members that lead the charge of finding their community Child Care needs. They determined School Age was their greatest need and have set a goal to expand to a full Child Care by 2021. Renovations within the old elementary school will begin within the next year.
- Blessed Sacrament has recently expanded their hours to 8 pm. This center continues to evaluate the needs of the community.
- Waverly community in May of 2019, the economic development office hosted a child care solutions meeting. A team was formed to address the communities child care needs. A local business is exploring options to open a child care and create a potential business partnership.
- Hudson community local child care has expressed interest in expansion of their current preschool. They are working with CCR&R staff.
- Communities of Cedar Falls, Charles City, Decorah and Grundy Center are exploring Child Care expansion opportunities. Each community is surveying their employers and citizens to determine the best solution.