Gov. Steve Sisolak and other community leaders Thursday announced the opening in Reno of the state’s second “one stop shop” of resources and information for child care providers.
The opening of the Nevada Strong Start Child Care Services Center, which aims to provide child care resources and aid to providers and families in one location, was lauded by the governor as the “next step” in continuing the state’s support for child care services.
“While we’re committed to helping families access child care, we know we’ve got to help our child care providers get connected to the resources and opportunities that they need to start up and to grow,” Sisolak said at the event.
The governor was joined by Assemblywoman Sarah Peters, D-Reno, and representatives from the offices of U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen and Rep. Mark Amodei.
Marty Elquist, department director of The Children’s Cabinet, a nonprofit organization that helped coordinate the center, said it will help take pressure off of the provider workforce, she said.
“Our workforce is under a lot of strain right now. It’s incredibly difficult to care for children, and our providers don’t earn a livable wage. So anything we can do to take any burden off our providers, to make their jobs easier, to give them one place to go instead of hunting around to 15, it’s going to help them stay in the field and that means consistency with the children they care for,” Elquist said.
The center’s first location opened in Las Vegas this year, and it provides financial assistance options, child care subsidy aid, licensing help and other resources.
The Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services provides funding for the centers through federal funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act. The planning, development and launch of the centers cost more than $1.5 million. It will cost an additional $1.9 million to support the centers over the next fiscal year, July 1 until June 30, 2023, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.
Last week, the governor announced a $50 million investment to expand a program that helps low-income families with the cost of state-subsidized child care programs, funded by American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
Sisolak said he would work with the Legislature on ensuring funding for the programs after federal funds run out. The next session of the Legislature convenes in February.
In Nevada, care for a 4-year-old can cost $754 a month on average. That figure jumps up for infant care, which can cost $951 a month on average, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Contact Taylor R. Avery at [email protected]. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.