Let’s Band Together to Solve the Salina Childcare Crisis!
What is the Salina Childcare Crisis?
‘BEST DAY EVER’ KICKS OFF GRASS-ROOTS EFFORT TO AVERT SALINE COUNTY CHILD-CARE CRISIS SALINA, KS - OCTOBER 30, 2023: With an estimated shortage of up to 1,500 childcare spaces, Saline County is experiencing a childcare crisis, and business leaders are stepping in to bring attention to it. Licensed childcare centers and in-home providers alike are operating at capacity and staffing shortages are choking their ability to expand. The cause of this staffing shortage? A wage gap that is tragically inhibiting centers from increasing capacity and even worse, discouraging potential childcare providers from entering the profession. Community leaders are concerned that this situation has the potential to yield devastating consequences for the future economic growth of Salina and Saline County.
On November 3rd, aka the “BEST DAY EVER”, business leaders in Salina are combined efforts to shine a light on this issue by visiting licensed childcare providers to let them know that the community is behind them. Approximately 50 licensed in-home childcare providers received a visit from cape-wearing business leaders bearing gifts and words of appreciation and encouragement. “We just want these critically vital community members to know how important they are and that we are working to help resolve this situation”, said Jeni Adams of The Bank of Tescott, continuing “We believe a grassroots effort to bring attention to the Salina Early Childhood Initiative Fund and the Early Childhood Endowment Fund is the best way to support those who care for our most valuable and vulnerable community members!”
“The average childcare provider is earning $11/hr yet the living wage in Saline County is $15/hr”, according to Salina Area United Way Director, Claire Ludes. Superhero cape-wearing businesspeople will be distributing envelopes enclosed with notes of encouragement and a monetary gift that represents the amount below the poverty line, that the average childcare provider is not earning every single day. “It's a small gesture but between these monetary gifts, gift baskets, and encouraging notes, hopefully area childcare providers will know that business leaders see and appreciate them, while raising awareness in the community about just how critical this situation is”, shared Hayley Samford of Salina Family Healthcare Center.
“Best Day Ever” was part of a collective of events taking place across the country to generate 100,000 acts of kindness, in conjunction with social media influencer, Charlie Rocket, known for his Dream Machine tour and financial services provider, Kasasa. This is the first-time community financial institutions have come together for a nationwide event, demonstrating their local impact and the scale of their network. Salina’s "Best Day Ever” is the only nationwide event taking place where a community bank is partnering with other local businesses to amplify a cause that affects an entire community. “Though our immediate mission on November 3rd is to share as many acts of kindness as we can, our group from Nex-Tech, Kennedy Berkley Attorneys, Pathway Financial, Long McArthur, Salina Family Healthcare, and Fili Creative is hoping the effort ignites a flurry of community support that helps resolve this issue at the grassroots level. It affects everyone, so if everyone chips in, we can avert a disaster before it's too late”, said Adams.
How You Can Help
- Donate to the Early Childcare Initiative Fund that has been established by the United Way. One time donations and recurring donations are easy!
- Donate to the Early Childhood Endowment Fund
- Talk to your employer about offering an automatic payroll deduction to for your employees to easily contribute as little as $1/paycheck automatically!
However you choose to contribute, thank you for being part of this grassroots effort to solve this problem that is critical to the growth and safety of Salina and our children!