Article by: Lisa Babington
The Lake City Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been working on documenting and addressing the child care gap in Lake City and the surrounding counties. After completing research on the need, discussing the findings with many community groups, connecting with county licensors and visiting area child care centers, the EDA has taken the first of a few steps to address the challenge.
Partnering with Families First and the Goodhue and Wabasha County family care licensors, the EDA held information sessions to attract new family providers to open a business. Lake City is also working with First Children’s Finance through a consulting project to create tools and templates that can ultimately help not only Lake City but other communities address child care needs.
First Children’s Finance has committed to provide consulting services to 1) create a financial pro forma designed to determine the feasibility of a child care center in Lake City, 2) develop an RFP for a child care center, and 3) gather information on the process and benefits to licensing a family day care provider in a business location. In addition, First Children’s Finance was able to validate the EDA’s analysis of the child care gap using a different methodology, confirming the significance of the work to be undertaken.