Summit County, Early Childhood Alliance ask community to weigh in on local childcare needs

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Summit County and the Early Childhood Alliance have put out a survey to help gather information on Summit County’s childcare needs.

The 2022 Summit County Early Childhood Needs Assessment will ask community members about their childcare use, availability, cost, and preferences. It will also ask early childcare and education providers about their current operations, staffing, cost, and interest in expanding services.

The Early Childhood Alliance was founded in 2018. Its mission is to engage, educate, and support members, children, parents, and the community at large to prioritize accessible, excellent, and equitable outcomes for children in the Wasatch Back from the prenatal stage through age three.

Kristen Schulz, a coordinator with the Early Childhood Alliance, hopes the survey can shed more light on the issues currently facing parents of young children in the Wasatch Back.

“The Wasatch back, you know, we are a childcare desert,” Schulz said. “And our parents are really struggling both to find childcare and then to afford it even when they can find it.”

A task force is working toward making a recommendation for local public investment in early childhood, a recommendation that survey results could help influence.

“I think are very comfortable with the idea that the community benefits from providing public education to our community members,” Schulz said. “We really are missing a huge opportunity, because allowing these parents to just kind of figure it out on their own until the kid starts first grade is really a missed opportunity for us as a community.”

The survey will be open until January 15, 2023. Community members can take the survey here, and childcare providers can take the survey here. A Spanish version of the survey will be available soon.

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