In April 2022, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia kicked off the 2022-2023 Reinventing Our Communities (ROC) program. The 2022-2023 ROC Program was focused on providing training and guidance to assist local cohorts to develop and implement place-based policy solutions to support the equitable workforce recovery from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The York County Economic Alliance convened a group of workforce development and nonprofit professionals to participate in the 2022-2023 ROC program. The York County Cohort met regularly throughout the program and determined, via feedback from local partners and stakeholders, that the focus area for its work would be to improve access to adequate, quality, and affordable child care in York County and remove and this barrier to employment.
Via feedback from partners and employers, the cohort learned that families in York County are having difficulty finding child care that meets their needs and that the lack of affordable, accessible, quality child care poses a significant barrier to working parents who are seeking to enter the workforce. This issue is further complicated by staffing shortages among child care providers in York County who are limited to operating at 85% capacity due to the inability to hire sufficient staff to work in the field.
Throughout the course of the ROC Program, the York County Cohort met with national experts and participated in workforce and racial equity trainings. This enabled us to develop a better understanding of the systems that operate within the child care sector and solutions that have been implemented elsewhere in the United States to attempt to resolve shortages in the amount of affordable, quality child care slots.
Upon the conclusion of the ROC Program, the cohort resolved to continue to meet via a designated Subcommittee of Pathways to Prosperity Workforce Committee – a committee composed of employers, community organizations, and educational institutions – to conduct a series of community engagements to further assess the impact that lack of access to affordable, quality child care poses for families, and the potential to solve this problem via solutions utilized elsewhere in the United States.
The Child Care Subcommittee launched a community engagement strategy which will involve a survey of parents and guardians who access or would like to access affordable, quality childcare, interviews and listening sessions with childcare resource providers, and engagement with stakeholders via community events to better understand the barrier that lack of access to affordable, quality childcare poses to employment opportunities.
Organizations who have support the subcommittee’s community outreach include
- Community Connections for Children
- Community Progress Council
- York County Community Foundation
- Bubbles on Belmont Laundromat
- Children’s Aid Society
- City of York
- City of York School District
- Downtown inc
- Keystone Kidspace
- Manufacturer’s Association
- New Hope Ministries
- Penn Market
- Restoration Community Christian Church
- Smith STEAM Academy
- York College of Pennsylvania
- York County Alliance for Learning
- York County Library System
- YWCA York
More information on the progress of the Child Care Subcommittee will be shared via updates at yocopathways.com.
If you represent an employer, community organization, or educational institution and would like to join the Pathways to Prosperity Workforce Committee or the Pathways Child Care Subcommittee, contact Marlena Schugt at email@example.com.