First Children’s Finance has chosen New Ulm to participate in their Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP). Child care is an economic driver for rural communities across the United States, but many communities, including New Ulm, are facing shortages of high-quality child care. RCCIP is a community engagement process designed to address the challenges of child care in rural America. New Ulm was among the five MN communities selected to participate.
The program is based on the fundamental idea that rural communities are greater than their size in numbers and greater than their current challenges. RCCIP sees opportunity for innovation and renewal. By mobilizing and empowering rural communities, the landscape of early care and education is changing in rural America.
If employees can’t find quality child care they won’t move to our community and fill jobs, or they may be forced to stay at home to care for their children and remain out of the workforce. It is a growing issue for attracting and retaining young families to our community. This program will work with local child care providers and community members to find a community-based, right-sized solution.
The Rural Child Care Innovation Program is a community engagement process designed to develop right-sized solutions to address the needs of child care and early education for communities selected to participate. Over an 18-month period, chosen communities will increase the focus on opportunities and challenges they are facing with child care. First Children’s Finance helps facilitate the conversation and provides expertise, tools, and resources to support the creation and implementation of solutions to address child care shortages in rural communities. There are also potential grant monies available at the completion of this process to help communities implement the solutions.
The Core Team held their first onboarding session October 15, 2021. The core team is working hard to gather more local data about child care, along with informing the community about the child care shortage. Activities will include a child care appreciation event to show support and appreciation for the existing child care programs. Supporting and sustaining our existing child care is key to addressing this crisis. A Town Hall on January 27, 2022 is open to the public to hear about the data collected and develop local ideas to help support the current child care programs, but also how to develop new programs in the area. Additional information will be released as the program developments. For more information, please contact Heather Bregel at (507) 233-2107.
The Rural Child Care Innovation Program invites you to complete the following survey(s):
Child Care Center Director Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCCNewUlm
Family Child Care Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FCCNewUlm
Employer Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EmployerNewUlm
Parent Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ParentNewUlm