Saturday, June 1st, United Way Monterey County (UWMC), in partnership with the Monterey County Early Childhood Advisory Group, will host an Early Care and Education hackathon. This community event will take place between 9:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. at the Monterey Bay Event Center located at 249 10th Street, Marina, CA 93933. Click here for the event flyer.
“At United Way, we recognize the importance of investing in early care and education and we work with our community to address this issue. The goal of this community hackathon is to develop solutions to increase access to quality and affordable child care in Seaside and Marina communities. Discussion will focus on increasing the number of licensed child care slots, supporting families and preschool workforce, and building capacity of local informal providers,” said Katy Castagna, President and CEO, UWMC.
Many Monterey County families struggle to find quality and affordable child care for their children. There are 9,345 licensed child care slots for 38,802 children who are less than five years old. In Marina, 74% of preschool age children do not have access to licensed child care. In Seaside, 54% of preschool age children do not have access to licensed child are. Only 25% of children in Monterey County are academically ready for kindergarten.
In a recent survey of Monterey County child care providers, 100% of respondents indicated that they were operating at full capacity and had waiting lists. When asked why they were not able to provide care for children on their waiting lists, the reasons included: lack of available classrooms, high rent, and lack of qualified workforce.
For an in-depth look at the state of child care in the area, including needs assesment, barriers, and the advantages of quality care, please read this Literature Review.
Employers, child care providers, parents, policy makers, funders, nonprofit organizations, and educators will co-create actionable solutions that increase access to quality and affordable child care in Seaside and Marina communities.
Specifically, we will work to develop strategies that:
Increase the number of licensed slots either through new facilities or expansion of existing facilities;
Support the preschool workforce so that systems are in place to train, deploy, compensate teachers effectively and to support ongoing professional development;
Support families by developing early childhood support networks;
Build capacity of local informal child care providers to ensure children under their care are safe and benefit from high quality early childhood education and developmentally appropriate activities;
Raise awareness of needs and help advocate for change.
Dr. Deneen Guss, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools, will be the keynote speaker.
For more information, contact Josh Madfis, Vice President, Community Investments, by email or at (831) 372-8026, ext. 106.