Child Care Issues in Hubbard County (Part 2) will be presented by the League of Women Voters Park Rapids Area (LWV PRA) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26 in the Northwoods Bank Community Room: (1200 1st Street E). A panel of five experts has been invited to discuss possible solutions to the issues raised during the first program.
The March program was well received and raised a number of issues that, while not only specific to Hubbard County, have a great impact on our local economy. The last panel consisted of a parent, an experienced provider, a newly licensed provider, the Hubbard County licensor and foster care licensor. They discussed several topics including the shortage of licensed providers in the county for all ages but especially infants, the high cost of a new provider starting a business, the lack of substitutes to cover for providers when they are sick, etc., and the difficulty of finding which providers have current openings. These are problems that affect all of Hubbard County, not just parents or guardians of young children. Everyone’s quality of life is impacted when quality childcare is not available.
April’s panel will consist of:
Michelle Wilkowski, a 25-year veteran of Head Start and current director of MAHUBE-OTWA Head Start.
Missy Okeson, program officer and child care lead at the Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) since 2016.
Michele Hutchinson, a manager, who has been in the early childhood field for over 30 years.
Dana Patsie, director of child care programs at MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, oversees a number of programs that support children’s access to quality early childhood education.