Local Coalition Forms to Address Childcare Shortages
Following conclusion of initial needs assessment, local childcare coalition will review how existing childcare providers can be supported or enhanced to increase availability.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin (September 8, 2022) – Worzalla, an employee-owned book printer headquartered in Stevens Point, hosted a virtual event with over 40 participants representing more than 30 local organizations to discuss opportunities for a collaborative community approach to address the childcare shortages. With a goal of determining whether an employer consortium to fund a childcare center for their collective employees would be the most viable option for the community, a group of interested employers conducted a needs assessment of their workforces in partnership with KinderCare, one of the nation's largest providers of early childhood and school-age education and childcare.
According to the needs assessment, which was completed by over 900 individuals from 11 participating organizations, 100 respondents anticipated starting a family or having additional children in the next two years. 27% of respondents have thought about leaving their job due to childcare needs in the last year and 37% with children believe that a lack of childcare resources has affected their performance at work. Despite the results of the assessment showing an existing and future need, the KinderCare project will not be moving forward.
"Phase One was critical to understanding the community's needs, served as the foundation for financial projections and investments of potential consortium members, and ultimately helped us determine that for a variety of reasons a consortium with KinderCare is not the best solution for our community at this time," said Brianne Petruzalek, Vice President of Human Resources at Worzalla. "Through the process we have learned that it is likely best to partner with our quality local providers to increase availability of childcare."
While the KinderCare project is not moving forward, the childcare discussion has not come to an end. Since the virtual event in April, a community coalition comprised of local business, economic development officials, school districts, non-profit organizations, and early childhood education partners has been gathering to discuss a community approach to address the local childcare shortage.
"We are glad that Worzalla sparked a much-needed discussion in our community regarding childcare," said Kelly Borchardt, member of the coalition and Executive Director for Childcaring, a local childcare resource and referral agency serving a 10-county district in Central Wisconsin. "The KinderCare project has been beneficial because it brought to light the issues that childcare provides in our community are currently facing, which impact the availability of quality and affordable childcare, and opened the discussion for how we can work together to find a solution."
Worzalla is an employee-owned printing company headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Founded in 1892, Worzalla has 130 years of experience in creating high-quality custom products for its customers. Worzalla specializes in the production of cookbooks, children’s and lifestyle books, and is dedicated to exceeding expectations for quality, service, and delivery. From small to large publishers, Worzalla is the printer the industry turns to for manufacturing high profile projects and award-winning books. With numerous industry awards for safety and workplace culture, Worzalla is consistently ranked as one of the top places to work in central Wisconsin. For more information, visit worzalla.com.