IOSCO COUNTY- Multiple childcare providers attended the Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP) Provider Appreciation brunch at Tawas Bay Beach Resort on May 21. The event was designed to bring providers together to discuss the issues that negatively affect their ability to serve the families in their communities.
This provider event will be followed by a Town Hall-style event next month.
According to Clara Sherman, Core Team Lead for the RCCIP program in Iosco County, providers seemed to have some of the same problem areas.
“Some of the issues we heard included staff shortages, concerns with insurance and licensing, and accessibility – locations are limited for childcare businesses,” Sherman said. “Knowing that providers consider these ‘problematic’ gives us a head start on developing solutions to address the barriers that they are encountering.”
The discussion generated also resulted in better connections among the childcare providers who attended.
“One of the greatest things we noticed at this event was the spirit of collaboration among these providers,” Sherman said. “In a sense, by coming together and focusing on solutions, they are creating their own support network.”
This event is one of two hallmark events that the RCCIP program brings to communities. The next event will be the Town Hall presentation, sponsored by First Children’s Finance, where all of the data collected from local surveys will be presented to the public for further discussion. That event features breakout sessions where community members can brainstorm solutions to identified problems.
From these solutions, RCCIP organizers and Core Team Members will develop SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound), that will be even further developed into a Strategic Action Plan specific to Iosco County.
The Iosco County RCCIP Town Hall Event is set for July 26 from 5-7 p.m. at the East Tawas Community Center at 760 Newman Street. Snack food will be provided.
For more information, or if you have questions – or would like to become involved – reach out to Clara Sherman at 989-362-6407.