National Child Care Provider Appreciation Day was held on Friday, May 6. Lane Community College has two child care centres: one on the main campus and one downtown. Both of these facilities are rated five stars by the Oregon Quality Rating and Improvement System. Beyond day-to-day child care, LCC also offers training for child care providers and grantmaking through Quality Care Connections.
The cost of child care per term under LCC is $2,695 for full time and $1,969 for half days. Scholarships, subsidies and sliding scales are available. Lane Child and Family Center staff are available to help parents with their finances. Childcare services are available for students and members of the general community and they look after children from 30 months to 5 years old.
The ratio within the LCC childcare centers is one teacher for every five children. Other adults in the room include early childhood education students who are completing their practicum hours for their degree.
April Kay Williams is a Grants Specialist on the Stabilization Grants team. Quality Care Connections was tasked with reallocating the Stabilization Grant, a $39 billion portion of the U.S. bailout earmarked for daycares. So far, $14 million has been awarded to 329 Lane County vendors. Each daycare received between $6,000 and $233,000. For example, the YMCA received 14 different grants for all of its daycares.
Williams’ job was to contact child care providers and make sure they understood how to apply for the subsidy. Williams said many child care providers are people in their 60s and have struggled with online forms. The QCC held workshops to teach people how to apply and continued outreach to ensure people got the money they deserved.
In addition to allocating millions of dollars, QCC is an on-campus resource for child care training. Most courses are available to anyone, not just certified child care providers or students. The QCC offers many free and affordable courses, including CPR and first aid training, essential skills for infant caregivers, and nutrition training for child care providers. These courses are available in English and Spanish.
QCC can also help parents find specific child care providers through their website or by calling 211. The resources QCC offers at Lane Community College are extensive and focused on child development.