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Effort To Address Childcare Deficit In Tuolumne County

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Sonora, CA — There is far more demand for childcare in Tuolumne County than available spots, which impacts parents who are also needing to work.

A new cohort program is being launched to encourage new childcare businesses, called, “Dream Big, Start Small.”

“The most often overlooked issue to employment is childcare,” said Robbie Bergstrom, Sr. Analyst who oversees economic development for the county. “If someone does not have someone who can care for their child while they are at work, it is a detriment to them and their ability to hold a full-time job.”

Bergstrom’s comments were made at the most recent board of supervisors meeting during the staff comment period.

A coalition working on solutions, includes Infant-Child Enrichment Services (ICES), Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center, Tuolumne County Economic Development, and Mother Lode Job Training.

The new cohort initiative aims to help residents interested in establishing home-based childcare businesses successfully navigate the licensing process.

“Dream Big, Start Small,” is a four week, four class, curriculum to equip participants with the knowledge needed to launch a childcare venture.

Tuolumne County has an estimated 658 children ages 0-2 years and 638 children 3-4 years in need of care. However, the available licensed childcare slots is well short of demand, with only 94 spots for infants and toddlers and 320 for preschool aged children.

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