SHENANDOAH VALLEY, Va. (WVIR) - A community effort to address childcare needs in the Shenandoah Valley is officially underway, but it needs volunteers, employees, and space.
The Creative Collaborative Coalition for Childcare launched its website and plans to take part in the Central Shenandoah Regional Virtual Job Fair Wednesday, August 26.
C4 was created in response to the increased need for childcare created by virtual learning. The group is working on compiling a list of available spaces to expand the program.
Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Community Comes Together to Address Childcare
The Creative Collaborative Coalition for Childcare (C4), a local effort to address and respond to the increasing needs for student support centers, launched today. C4 draws on both public and private support to provide a reliable and affordable solution for families seeking care for elementary-age children (five to 12-years-old) in Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro.
The C4 initiative is growing rapidly through the support of the community. Continued growth is also contingent on community assistance. There are two main ways that community members can help right now:
● C4 needs paid and unpaid staff. If you are interested in applying for an open temporary position or volunteering, please visit: https://sawchildcare.org/i-want-to-help/. Job seekers can also receive more information about C4 on Wednesday, August 26, during the Central Shenandoah Virtual Job Fair. Register for the job fair for free by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/events/851590342036465
● C4 is compiling a list of available spaces that can accommodate expansion of the program when needed. To have your facility toured and potentially added to the list, please visit: https://sawchildcare.org/submit-a-facility-to-c4/
Primary partners of the coalition are the United Way of Staunton, Augusta County & Waynesboro, the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA and the Waynesboro Family YMCA.
Augusta Health will provide seed funding and assistance with C4′s human resource needs. “We are
grateful to be a C4 partner. As the largest private employer in the area, Augusta Health leadership is
concerned for our employees who are balancing work, family life and their child’s education. We want to
support them and other members of our community as best we can,” said John Boswell, Vice President of
Seed funding is also provided by the Community Action Partnership of Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro (CAPSAW). CAPSAW is a public action agency that provides funds obtained from:
● the Federal Community Services Block Grant
● the State Community Services Block Grant
● the Federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) fund
Along with required matching funds provided by each of the three localities, CAPSAW funnels additional resources into the community.
“United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in the Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro communities. If not effectively addressed, we believe the pressure on families to find safe and affordable childcare, especially during these uncertain times, will have lasting effects in all three of these critical areas,” said Kristi Williams, President and CEO of the United Way of Staunton, Augusta County & Waynesboro. “It was a natural decision for our organization to take the lead in collaborating with our amazing community partners in this initiative, because our community needs safe and reliable options when it comes to their children’s care.”
The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge (CFCBR) has committed a gift of $250,000.
“We have been anticipating the need for significantly more childcare as our schools prepare to open under their pandemic plans,” said Dan Layman, CEO of the CFCBR. “More importantly, it is essential that childcare is affordable for all families and that academic support is readily available for students when they are not physically in their classrooms.” Layman also noted that the childcare need is critical for the community. The pledge, from CFCBR’s COVID-19 Local Response Fund, will ensure that area children have the best chances of success in the coming school year.
C4 has current and future openings for children in Waynesboro and Staunton with plans to expand in neighboring areas to meet demand as needed. Rates are based on income and set to be affordable for all families.
“The Waynesboro Y is thrilled to be partnering with our neighboring Y in Staunton, the United Way, and the Community Foundation to provide critical resources to families during these unprecedented times,” said Jeff Fife, Waynesboro Family YMCA Executive Director. “This spirit of collaboration strengthens all our abilities to better serve not only the Waynesboro community but the surrounding jurisdictions. We are better together.”
Each partner’s program will be unique and will contain three hours a day of instruction on Tuesday-Friday for children who attend full day. Standard hours of operation will be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To sign up for and/or be added to the waiting list for childcare, please visit: www.sawchildcare.org.
About the Creative Collaborative Coalition for Childcare (C4): The Creative Collaborative Coalition for Childcare (C4) is a grassroots effort to address and respond to the need for childcare in a learning supportive environment in the Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Primary partners for these student support centers are the United Way of Staunton, Augusta County & Waynesboro, the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA and the Waynesboro Family YMCA with additional support coming from a host of private and public individuals and organizations.
To learn more about C4, its partners and mission and/or to support the initiative, please visit: www.sawchildcare.org.