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Employers & Child Care Event Offers Strategies to Boost Bedford Workforce

Posted on February 6, 2023

Much of Bedford County has so little child care that it is labeled a child care desert. What does that mean? The Center for American Progress, an independent, non-partisan policy institute, defines a child care desert as any census tract with more than 50 children under age 5 that contain either no child care providers or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as slots.

This lack of child care limits local families and keeps capable people out of the workforce. It is also stifling the growth of our local economy. Employers cannot find workers to fill open jobs. “People are hesitant to apply for jobs because they don’t know if child care can be provided for them,” said Leah Spangler, president and CEO of The Learning Lamp. “It’s a problem that the business community wants to learn more about so more people are able to enter and stay in the workforce.”

County-wide, 1,500 children aged five and under need care. The county’s 20 child care providers have a capacity of 711 slots for infants, toddlers, and young school-age children. This leaves parents of nearly 789 children scrambling to find care, according to data from Child Care Works in PA.

The Learning Lamp, in partnership with the Bedford Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission, will host a session to help employers consider how to solve the issue. The upcoming Employers & Child Care session will address how to increase worker retention and productivity and boost applicants through child care solutions.

Andrea Heberlein, Executive Director of the PA Early Learning Investment Commission, Stephanie Doliveira, Executive Vice President of People and Culture at Sheetz, Inc., and Karen Grimm-Thomas, Early Childhood Strategy Advisor for The Pennsylvania Key, will be on hand to guide an eye-opening discussion and provide actionable steps on how businesses can help solve the worker shortage through strategies that better support employees by increasing their access to child care.

This impactful discussion and networking event will take place on Friday, February 10, 2023 in the Spring House Café inside Homewood at Spring House Estates located at 150 Victoria Avenue, Everett, PA 15537. Check-in and a light breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. with the discussion starting at 8:30 a.m. Limited seating is available. Registration prior to the event is requested. There is no registration fee. To pre-register, please contact the Bedford Chamber at 814-623-2233 or register online at bedfordcountychamber.com

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The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2021, The Learning Lamp served 28,160 youth/adults from 51 public school districts and 69 other schools and organizations in 19 Pennsylvania counties.

 Our programs include: child care and preschool, after school programs, tutoring, SAT prep, school staffing, alternative education programs for at-risk students, online learning, credit recovery, drug and alcohol prevention programs, and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

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8 hours ago
Ready to make a difference in young lives? We are hiring a Child Care Assistant to work at our Center for Children in Richland. Benefits include training, development, career advancement opportunities, and more! EARN A DEGREE FOR FREE! Candidates must have a high school diploma, previous experience working with children, and the ability to pass clearances. Apply online today at http://tiny.cc/4v3avz 

#thelearninglamp #johnstownpa #nowhiring #hiringnow #jobopening