Why Wall Rocks Series – #6 Solving Problems Together
1 Nov 2017
It’s November, the perfect month to reflect on everything we are grateful for in our community. We have a wonderful school, forward-thinking City leadership, nice, paved streets, amazing businesses, breathtaking recreational opportunities, and the list goes on and on! This month, we will talk about another reason Wall Rocks. We work together to make things happen and solve problems.
Let’s Talk Daycare
Recently, the Jitterbug Daycare in Wall closed. The building is currently for sale, including everything inside, but it has not yet been purchased. Daycare is an extremely important part of the Wall community. Daycare affects several aspects of any community, especially businesses, current parents and those who moved back to start a family.
The community could have said, “Oh well. I hope someone does something about the daycare situation.” But, they didn’t. The community came together, talked about daycare, and made an action plan.
What daycare services do we have? What daycare services do we need now and in the future? What needs are not being met? What can the community do to help? These were all questions the community discussed during the “Let’s Talk Daycare” meeting on October 24th.
About 20 community members gathered in the Wall Community Center to share ideas about improving Wall’s daycare situation. People attended for a variety of reasons, but all of the reasons impact the community’s future.
Some attendees were parents who want to ensure their children are able to stay in daycare. Others attended because they want to start a family and are concerned about not having future daycare. Concerned parents joined the meeting to share that they don’t have daycare right now, but need it immediately. Local businesses sent representatives to join the conversation. Without daycare, it is difficult to maintain and hire an adequate workforce. City representatives attended to discuss how the City can help.
The discussion highlighted the need for one or more permanent licensed daycare facilities that can accommodate at least 20 children each. The group also discussed the need for more in-home providers to help fill the daycare gap. Another major discussion centered on the need for one or more daycare directors who could be paid a high wage and receive benefits to prevent turnover.
After sharing needs and concerns, the group shared ideas to help solve the issue in the short- and long-term. Community and business engagement was at the top of the list. The group discussed ways to engage businesses and City leadership to break down the barriers of entry to starting and running a daycare. The group will continue to research innovative daycare solutions in other communities, discuss potential incentives with the Wall City Council, and conduct outreach for a potential daycare director.
Following the discussion, attendees shared reasons they were glad they joined the discussion.
“I knew there was a problem, but the problem looks like it is going to get worse,” one community member shared, “I’m glad we’re working on it now.”
“We will have more people in the workforce if daycare is not an issue,” another said.
The next step is to create a Daycare Action Team. This action team will gather to push short-term and long-term daycare solutions forward. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining a Daycare Action Team, please contact the Wall Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) at 605-279-2658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you or someone you know is interested in starting a daycare, you can also contact WEDC for connections to financial and business development resources.
As always, thank you for being such a great community. It is because of you we have it all in Wall!
WEDC Executive Director