The availability of child care in Adams County and the area is at a premium these days.  Just ask working parents about it. With that in minda series of meetings has been set up to discuss needs and opportunities for child care in Adams County.

The meetings are hosted by the Community Foundation serving West-Central Illinois & Northeast Missouri.

In March, the Community Foundation conducted a survey of parents/guardians who use or are seeking child care, family child care providers, and child care center directors to better understand child care perceptions, satisfaction, needs, and opportunities in Adams County. Results of the survey are being used to shape conversations and determine priorities during the upcoming meetings.

Data shows that child care is a challenge in Adams County and beyond. There are approximately 4,069 children under the age of 5 in Adams County. As of March 2019, only 64 percent of perceived child care need in Adams County is covered by providers with licensed capacity, according to West Central Child Care Connection’s provider database, which includes only licensed providers. The number of unlicensed providers is Adams County is not available.

“We already know that parents and guardians struggle with finding quality child care. Our hope is that results of the survey will drive constructive conversations around the issue,” said Heath Richmond, Community Foundation Program & Evaluation Coordinator. “Participant voices are important in determining the outcome of the meetings, so we encourage anyone with an interest in child care in Adams County to attend.”

The conversations will be facilitated by Gisele Hamm, Program Manager, and Linda Lee Blaine, Community and Economic Development Outreach Specialist, both of the Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. Listed below are the dates, times and locations of these sessions

 Session 1: Where are we now?

Tuesday, April 30, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

John Wood Community College DO24/DO25

1301 S 48th St, Quincy, IL 62305

Topic: Survey results will be presented by Western Illinois University faculty who developed and analyzed the survey, including Dr. Sharon Stevens, Department of Educational Studies, Dr. Katrina Daytner, Interim Dean, College of Education and Human Services, and Dr. Boh Young Lee, Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Session 2: Where do we want to be?

Tuesday, May 7, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

John Wood Community College DO22/DO22

1301 S 48th St, Quincy, IL 62305

Topic: Participants will identify long-range goals for child care services in Adams County and brainstorm potential strategies for each goal.

Session 3: How do we get there?

Wednesday, May 14, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

John Wood Community College DO24/DO25

1301 S 48th St, Quincy, IL 62305

Topic: Participants will prioritize potential strategies utilizing an electronic polling system. Small group work teams will brainstorm potential action steps and projects.

A light dinner will be provided at each meeting and registration is required. Register online at least 7 days prior to each meeting at www.mycommunityfoundation.org/childcare. For assistance registering or questions, please call 217-222-1237 or email info@mycommunityfoundation.org.