Supporting childcare is a smart business decision. Past studies estimated that for every $1 spent on childcare, there’s at least a $2-$9 economic benefit through increased tax revenues and decreased social, education, and healthcare costs.
Ongoing challenges remain for families to find affordable childcare in their own neighborhoods or near their employment or that meet their work schedule. Childcare can cost $200/week or more, and The Children’s Cabinet reported in 2018 that 67.5% of Washoe County families have children less than 6 years old, where all parents work. They assist eligible parents who are working, going to school, in job training or seeking employment with affordable, accessible childcare.
Washoe County’s Social Services provides childcare licensing services. Few new centers and homes are licensed each year, a trend that is seen both statewide and nationally. Historically, this slow increase can be attributed, in part, to rising employment rates and the disparate wage and benefit rates for child caregivers as a profession. Per NRS4321, Social Services is authorized to monitor the childcare centers and homes that provide care to more than one child for compensation, and to enact and enforce regulations with regard to programs and services of childcare facilities.
Social Services sponsors and partners with a number of community agencies to improve caregiver awareness and education in the areas of quality programming, child abuse and neglect prevention, reporting requirements, and caregiver support initiatives. Parents report that their main problem finding care is no available openings (or not open for requested schedule).
*Licensed centers include tribal land, Head Start & PreK; licensed homes include family and group child care