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Childcare Challenges for Cook County

Childcare remains a topic of concern in Cook County. Photo courtesy of Flickr

Contributor(s): 
Rhonda Silence

Although Cook County is a wonderful place to raise a family, like many places it is not without its challenges. There has been a great deal of discussion by government entities at all levels regarding the North Shore’s limited housing options. But another problem—perhaps even more pressing for young families—is the lack of childcare in the region.

WTIP is looking at this issue and what is being done to try to alleviate this stressful situation for young families. In this series of interviews, WTIP’s Rhonda Silence explores this topic. 
 


What's On:
The Cook County YMCA is expanding its childcare offerings

Childcare: the county/YMCA connection

Childcare in the community is certainly not a new topic of discussion for Cook County. Cook County Public Health and Human Services has worked with local childcare providers for decades. And when the Cook County Community YMCA added childcare to its offerings, the county become indirectly involved with that program.

WTIP reached out to County Administrator Jeff Cadwell to learn more about the county’s role in the YMCA daycare program.
 

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Some of the children that Maria Carlson cares for at Wee Folks Daycare

Childcare in Cook County: a provider's perspective

As many local parents and employers know, finding adequate daycare can be a struggle. There has been discussion on the lack of childcare in Cook County. In this series, WTIP is looking at this issue and what is being done to alleviate this stressful situation for young families.

WTIP reached out to a local home daycare provider, Maria Carlson, to learn more about how home childcare fits into the puzzle. 
 

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Maren Webb of Grand Marais is a parent experiencing the childcare crunch

Childcare from a parent's viewpoint

Although Cook County is a wonderful place to raise a family, for some it can be a difficult place to live. There has been a great deal of discussion by government entities at all levels regarding the North Shore’s limited housing options. But another problem—perhaps even more pressing for young families—is the lack of childcare in the region.

WTIP is looking at this issue and what is being done to alleviate this stressful situation for young families.

In this latest intervew, we talk to Maren Webb, who recently lost her daycare provider to a job at the local school. A neighbor is filling in for now, but Webb is among the many seeking a long-term solution. Here's WTIP's Rhonda Silence with more.
 

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Childcare in Cook County is overseen by Cook County Public Health and Human Services

Childcare--the county's role

Hearing that it can be a challenge to find childcare in Cook County is not a suprise to the people at Cook County Public Health and Human Services. That county department has been working with local daycare providers and parents for years. 

WTIP's Rhonda Silence talks to Heidi Akins and Grace Bushard of Public Health to learn more about the county's role in the local childcare situation. 

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Heidi Akins can be reached by phone at 218-387-3620. She also shared links to the following resources that could be helpful for someone considering becoming a home childcare provider: 

Minnesota Department of Health & Human Services - Family Systems. This site includes rules and forms for becoming a licensed for childcare or foster care. 

Attorney Tom Copeland, specializing in representing childcare providers
 

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Work is under way in Mountain Iron on the Iron Tykes Daycare - Photo by Shawntel Gruba

Iron Range addressing childcare issues with new facility

As many local parents and employers know, finding adequate daycare can be a struggle. There has been a great deal of discussion on the lack of childcare here in Cook County—and around the region.

WTIP is looking at this issue and what is being done to alleviate this stressful situation for young families.

WTIP reached out to Chis Ismel, community development representative with the Minnesota Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, to learn more about a childcare project in Mountain Iron. We also spoke with Shawntel Gruba, who is the operator of the Iron Tykes childcare facility.

Here’s Rhonda Silence with more.
 

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Bill Hansen

Childcare in Cook County: seeking solutions

Although Cook County is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, for some it can be a difficult place to live.

There has been a great deal of discussion by government entities at all levels regarding the North Shore’s limited housing options. But another problem—perhaps even more pressing for young families—is the lack of childcare in the region.

WTIP is looking at this issue and what is being done to alleviate this stressful situation for young families.

WTIP reached out to Bill Hansen, a community leader, to learn more about local efforts under way to find solutions.
 

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