EverGrow Learning Center
The Need for Child Care
Economic development today is as much or more about talent attraction and retention, place-making, and community engagement as it is about business recruitment. Currently, the City of Ashland, Wisconsin, is facing challenges in attracting talent because of its remote location and limited access to urban amenities. Child care is often cited as a primary concern for incoming professionals as well as the current workforce. A survey conducted by Ashland Area Development Corporation and University of Wisconsin – Extension gathered responses from residents of Ashland County to assess the need for child care services. Through the qualitative questions of the survey, many issues were raised about being able to find “quality” child care services. The other predominant challenge identified through the survey was the affordability of child care services. Of these survey respondents, 31% felt what they were spending on childcare was not affordable. Other studies and town hall forums held in recent years have only confirmed this need.
What is EverGrow Learning Center?
Development of the EverGrow Learning Center has been a collaborative effort of many community partners and stakeholders with the Ashland Area Development Corporation serving as the grant applicant and the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board completing the grant outcomes. As part of the grant’s requirements, match funds are needed to contribute to the project. A fundraising capital campaign is underway that will require a groundswell of support from the community. The primary goal of this campaign is to match grant funds to open a large scale, non-profit childcare center that will provide childcare services to 100 children. If funds are raised. the center doors would open late Summer/early Fall 2018. EverGrow Learning Center will have an emphasis on providing more spots for infants and making these services affordable to all families. Planned services include a large number of enrollment spots for infants, extended care hours, and scheduled “drop-in” care. These planned services meet needs identified in local area forums, surveys, and studies. A special focus will be on reserving a portion of the enrollment slots for low-income families and providing a higher than average wage for child care workers.
Ways to Give
A GoFundMe has been created to assist in raising funds for this effort. Help us spread the word by sharing it on Facebook!
If you would like to donate but do not want to use GoFundMe checks can be made payable to:
Ashland Area Development Corporation
C/O EverGrow Learning Center
422 3rd Street West, Suite 101
Ashland, WI 54806