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New resource hub for child care providers opens in Reno

A room with beige cabinets has a printer and laminator inside and reads "Welcome" on the front door, and the words "provider resources" on the top cabinets.
Jose Davila IV
/
KUNR Public Radio
The Provider Resource Room at the Northern Nevada Child Care Services Center in Reno, Nev., July 14, 2022.

The Northern Nevada Child Care Services Center, a state-funded resource hub for child care providers, is now open in Reno.

When child care providers visit the new center, they’ll be able to drop their children off at the playroom without having to worry about hiring a substitute for the day. It's just one of a set of physical resources at the center to help providers complete necessary small tasks and keep their businesses running. Sarah Cunin is the founder of Aleph Academy, a Jewish early childhood education center. She understands how complex the web of state agencies related to child care can be.

“Sometimes it’s scary to have to call someone, or you’re not sure who you have to call, or who you need to speak to," Cunin said. "It’s really cool if you walk into one office and that’s not the right person, they can just send you next door — it’s a really really good idea for how to support providers.”

The Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services is supporting the center with COVID-19 relief funds. Gov. Steve Sisolak said he’ll be working with the state Legislature to secure more permanent funding for the center alongside its Southern Nevada counterpart.

The Las Vegas hub opened in February and has seen an average of 80 providers visit each month. The two most pressing issues in child care now are provider staffing shortages and affordability for families. Karissa Loper Machado is the state’s agency manager for child care and development. She thinks the center can help close the workforce gap.

“This has never existed," Loper Machado said. "There has never been a place where they could come and get all of the information they needed to become a licensed child care provider or become a staff person in a licensed child care center."

The opening is part of a larger, statewide push to address child care concerns. Earlier this month, the state launched a $50 million Nevada Child Care Fund to help cover daycare copays for families.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV reports on K-12 education with a focus on Latino students and families in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. He is also a first-year Report for America corps member. Es bilingüe, su familia es de Puerto Rico, y ama los tostones de su padre más que nada.
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