Ready SWVA seeks funding to expand access to affordable child care | News from local businesses

In a press release, Staton explained that the gap between available child care spaces and need is more than twice as large in rural Virginia communities (20.4%) than in urban Virginia cities (9 , 1%).

During the pandemic, Carter noted that many school divisions “have found creative and collective ways to partially meet this need.” In addition, he said, many agencies and organizations continue to search for solutions. However, the Superintendent noted that many of these efforts are being carried out in isolation. He supports the Ready SWVA initiative which “will help bring all of our efforts together to meet the needs of the community and to help our parents return to work and stay in our area to raise their families”.

The Ready SWVA initiative, Staton said, will create a new early childhood system that will expand access to affordable child care, strengthen the current network of providers and build a cohort of professional early childhood educators.

“This will create a minimum of 324 new niches in Southwest Virginia through the creation of five new facilities, while supporting the regional network of 206 existing child care providers,” Staton said in the Press release.

According to this version, Ready SWVA:

Provide quality and accessible childcare services, allowing current residents who are not in the workforce due to childcare constraints to return to work;