1800 Days to host Childcare Expo – hngnews.com

Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:45 pm

1800 Days to host Childcare Expo

By Meghan Chua | splife@hngnews.com

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Childcare is often one of the largest expenses for families with pre-school aged children, putting extra strain on low-income families’ budgets. At the same time, childcare providers play a large role in preparing children for kindergarten.

Childcare workers play a vital role in the elimination of the achievement gap, said Pastor Harold Rayford of the Faith Place Church, who is also President and Founder of 1800 Days, calling them the second line of offense to fight the gap. For many working parents, the child spends most of their waking hours at the childcare location, Rayford said.

“We believe that childcare is vital to eliminating the achievement gap – and specifically those childcare providers that are serving the low-income families,” Rayford said.

Rayford said there is a “vast shortage” of affordable childcare in Dane County and Sun Prairie. He said Dane County does offer quite a bit of assistance in the form of subsidies, but families must qualify for them. Rayford said in many instances, parents make too much money to qualify, but still can’t afford the cost of childcare.

“It’s really a crisis for families who have children who don’t qualify for subsidies,” he said.

1800 Days – a nonprofit organization that works toward eliminating the achievement gap in Dane County before a child turns 5 – will host a Childcare Expo May 6 for childcare providers and workers to examine ways to better provide childcare to low-income families.

The expo will give childcare providers an opportunity to connect with others in the field who are experiencing the same challenges they may be facing, Rayford said. Discussion topics for the day will include trauma care, compassion fatigue, conscious discipline, techniques to prepare children for kindergarten, and challenges and solutions associated with providing childcare for low-income families.

“What we hope to do is encourage the childcare providers and equip them with the latest techniques of how to simplify their job and how to help them do what they really love doing – that is, prepare the children in their care for kindergarten,” Rayford said.

The Childcare Expo takes place Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Madison College Truax Building, 1701 Wright St., Madison. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited. To reserve a spot for you or your group, call or text 1900 days at 608-630-0087 or email thenet@1800days.org.

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