Three area counties partnering on childcare study

Community organizations in three counties are banding together to address the child care challenges in Bartholomew, Jackson and Jennings Counties.

The Lilly Endowment has issued a grant to the organizations to study the issue in the region.

Local organizations taking part include The Community Foundation of Jackson County, Jennings County Community Foundation, Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, the Community Education Coalition’s Early Learning Initiative, Ivy Tech Columbus, Child Care Network Inc. and Jennings County Schools. They will be working with First Children’s Financial, a national leader in child-care business development and financing, to hold conversations in each community about sustainable child-care options.

Heritage Fund President and CEO Tracy Souza said that reliable, developmentally appropriate, dependable, and affordable child care is needed for he future development of children, to enable those with children in their care to work and to provide for their families, and to allow employers to thrive.

The initiative will be holding information gathering sessions in the three communities later this month and are hoping to have childcare providers, parents and employers attend.

The first session will be February 27th in Jackson County at the Child Care Network on Chestnut Street. A session in Bartholomew County will be held on February 28th at the Columbus Learning Center on Central Avenue and in Jennings County on February 29th at Jennings County High School on West Walnut Street.

The meetings will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

To register for a session or for more information you can  contact Kari Stattelman,  First Children’s Financial’s  director of consulting at
[email protected].