Summit County families, childcare providers, and our local economy desperately need our support as our early childcare sector faces a financial crisis. Federal funding is going to stop and the childcare system is in crisis. We need funding from our local city and county governments to ensure that parents can continue to access reasonably affordable, high-quality childcare for their young children and that local employers have access to local workers. We can’t afford to lose early childcare and education.
You can help by doing any one or combination of these things:
1. Speak up at a City Council meeting, in-person at 445 Marsac Avenue or via Zoom, on the following dates:
Children and families are welcome in chambers.You will be limited to 3 minutes. Here are some meeting participation tips and public comment guidelines.
2. Send city and county council members emails to the addresses below explaining why you would like to see local public funds invested in early care and education.
City council: Council_mail@parkcity.org (emails all city council members with one email)
County council members:
3. Send a letter to the editor at the Park Record, details available here.
The gap between the need and supply of early childcare offerings in the state of Utah is already exponential, and it’s about to get worse with the loss of federal funding.
Of survey respondents in Summit County, 90% of families report it is extremely or somewhat difficult to find high-quality, affordable childcare in our community. Long waitlists make the process even more taxing. An estimated additional 544 spots are needed to fully serve all children under the age of two in Summit County.As of 2022, the cost to send an infant to a care facility in Utah ($14,064 a year) is more than tuition and fees for in-state residents to attend the University of Utah ($9,002 a year).
Without these federal stabilization funds, over 40% of providers in Utah reported that their programs would have shut down. When these stabilization grants end this fall, 68.4% of programs will have to raise their already high tuition to say afloat, while 36.7% will have to cut wages. To prevent catastrophe in our community, we’re asking local government to invest in our local early care and education system that supports families and is the heart of our community’s economy. But we need your support and advocacy. We know that when we come together, our voices and dollars have an impact. Without childcare facilities, parents will be faced with the impossible choice of choosing between good childcare and their careers, which will impact our local economy. If the local government does not step in to fill the funding gap, childcare centers, families, and the community are at risk. Please be an advocate and a hero for the youngest members of our community.