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Families need care — employers can help

| September 5, 2022 1:05 AM

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every North Idaho community.

It does this by supporting and developing programs and services that address the community's most pressing needs.

As local businesses navigate inflation, supply chains and competitive hiring markets, they are looking for solutions to recruit and maintain a strong workforce.

The business community has recognized how critical child care access is to workforce participation and employee satisfaction.

United Way of North Idaho’s Early Learning Collaborative (ELC) is in the unique position to offer local employers the opportunity to provide immediate child care assistance through tuition scholarships, at no cost to them.

Scholarships are available for up to 12 months of assistance for child- and school-age care. Employees earning up to 100% area median income for 2022 are eligible.

As these scholarships are distributed and utilized, United Way’s ELC simultaneously provides customized employee needs surveys and technical support for long-term solutions.

“We hope these scholarships not only help families get to work or school and support child care providers, but also to help businesses chart their strategy for sustainable family-friendly workplaces as they gather data on trends and preferences,” said Keri Cederquist, United Way’s community impact director.

Statewide initiatives like Workforce Development Council Child Care Expansion Grants can provide funding and tax benefits to employers who partner with local early learning programs to increase the number of child care seats available to working families. Visit www.wdc.idaho.gov for details.

The extended deadline to apply for United Way’s scholarships is Sept. 15. They are available in Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah, Bonner and Boundary counties. Visit www.uwnorthidaho.org to apply. Info: 208-667-8112

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