There are only 445 licensed child care centers in Southern Nevada and 195 licensed child care providers in Washoe County. There are also approximately 177,000 Nevada children under the age of five.
Experts are unsure how many centers are required, but they do note that in many ZIP codes, up to three children are waiting for every slot available for early childhood education.
The $1.5 million Nevada Strong Start Child Care Services Centers (CCSC), also known as child care hubs, opened to help child care providers by expanding and streamlining information and tools through free online services.
The Wonderschool-powered hubs are a public-private partnership between the Children’s Cabinet, the Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to address the child care crisis.
Wonderschool is an online digital platform that prepares people to open and run home-based, high-quality child care businesses in 15 cities across the country, as well as foster a community for providers and families.
Providers can use the platform to manage their business and resources online, build a community, receive coaching, and share updates with families all in one place.
Karissa Loper Machado, the agency manager for the Child Care and Development Department at DHHS expressed, “We’re working with a variety of partners to encourage folks to go into child care services and help them get the proper training you do have to have a workforce that has continuing professional development, who cares for children.”
Gov. Steve Sisolak used federal stimulus funds to cover a one-time $50 million investment to expand child care subsidies to families, and million-dollars in child care hubs to be opened this year in Reno and Las Vegas to support providers and increase availability.