Child care availability, issues, and solutions

Author

Abigail Becker

Metrics

The child care industry is vital for a healthy economy and yet there are inherent tensions that make improvements in quality, affordability, and access difficult. Improvements in one area must often come at the expense of another area. A holistic approach is essential to ensure that policy changes meet the needs of all residents in La Crosse County without exacerbating existing issues. Focusing on a single issue while ignoring the interconnectedness of all these mechanisms can only improve the situation for some at the expense of others; this would not be good policy.

An important start in determining what would make good policy is having a clear idea of the challenges that La Crosse County faces, as well as the advantages they have in this area. The current problem description of a “failed economic model of the child care industry, where a simple supply and demand model doesn’t seem to work” seems a simplification of the complex issues at work in the early childhood market, and more broadly, the United States patchwork of social policies.

Breaking this statement down into its component parts could provide La Crosse County with a clearer idea of the specific challenges they may be able to assist with and provide their university partner with manageable project descriptions that can together attack different pieces of this puzzle. Before a problem can be solved, it must be seen clearly and understood. This report aims to provide a starting place for the county as they organize a plan for supporting the healthy development of all children in the county and strengthen the economic engine that is La Crosse.

UniverCity Year Contact Info
Gavin Luter
Managing Director
gavin@cows.org
608-261-1141

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