Grays Harbor, Mason, Thurston Child Care Task Force Releases Findings in Summary Report
Child care accessibility and affordability in Grays Harbor, Mason and Thurston counties was a challenge prior to the pandemic. Many child care providers in this region have struggled financially during the COVID-19 crisis and many have had to close their doors, which has impacted parents struggling to find affordable care for their children. With funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce through its Child Care Partnership Grant program, the Thurston Economic Development Council, in partnership with Child Care Action Council, CIELO, Greater Grays Harbor, KnoxWorks Consulting, Shelton-Mason Chamber of Commerce, South Sound YMCA, Thurston Chamber of Commerce, and YMCA of Grays Harbor, created and convened Child Care Task Forces in each of the three counties that included parents, child care providers, local employers, and community partners. The partners also interviewed and surveyed parents, providers and employers to gain further insights. Drawing on the information gained through the task force and surveys, the partners developed a report outlining strategic actions necessary to stabilize and expand child care capacity in these communities. These findings will be used to help create a path forward that addresses the needs of all community members.