The City of Perry has received a Rural Child Care Market Study grant through the Empower Rural Iowa initiative, a program administered by the Center for Rural Revitalization, a division of Iowa Economic Development Authority. The funds are being used to contract with First Children’s Finance (FCF) to complete a child care study to analyze the supply and demand for child care in the area including the community’s child care gap, which details the number of child care spots that would be reasonable to meet the community’s workforce needs.
The research being conducted by FCF includes a survey of parents that are currently using or want to use child care in Perry, to learn about their child care preferences along with child care challenges they may be facing. The survey focuses on learning from working parents, as well as those not working due to child care challenges. Questions get at the challenges working families face finding child care that meets their needs. The survey for parents can be accessed online through November 15, 2023.
In addition to the parent surveys, local employers and child care providers will be contacted to complete a survey specific to them. Employers are surveyed about how child care impacts employee performance and time loss, supports they provide and would be willing to provide in the future to their employees related to child care. Child care providers bring a unique perspective and knowledge of the industry locally including current waiting lists, staffing, and future plans. Providers are asked about challenges they have faced and how the community could better support child care providers.