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Jackson City Council Approves Funding for Online Platforms for Childcare Providers

The Jackson City Council, on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, approved $195,000 in ARPA dollars to fund two online platforms that will support existing childcare providers.

The first platform, The Childcare Finder Tool, will allow parents to locate childcare centers in the area and see open childcare seats in real-time. Accompanying this tool will be The Childcare Matters Mobile platform, which will support child care centers by providing them access to a substitute pool. The money will also fund a Child Care Champion to oversee the platforms through the creation of a Shared Services Alliance.

“A Shared Services Alliance is a partnership of childcare providers working together to share costs and deliver services in a streamlined and efficient way,” said Olivia Abernathy, Director of Early Education Initiatives at United Way of West Tennessee. “The implementation will allow both center and family childcare providers to split a portion of the financial and administrative burdens of operating a high-quality program.”

The Child Care Champion will collaborate with existing child care providers while also working to recruit high-quality substitute teachers and staff for these programs.

“This couldn’t come at a more favorable time, as the State recently announced increased investments to help expand childcare services,” said Mayor Scott Conger. “We want to ensure that every resident of our community has access to the services they need, so they can maintain their focus on being able to go to work or continuing their education.”

All interested child care providers can contact Olivia Abernathy at oabernathy@unitedway.tn.org to learn more.

The Shared Services Alliance is an initiative of Bright Start West Tennessee in partnership with United Way of West Tennessee and Tennesseans for Quality Early Education.

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