The COVID-19 public health crisis has altered the daily reality for every single one of us. The routines we built into our lives to enable us to function have been disrupted. This is especially true for parents of school-age children. The pandemic has caused many school districts in Brown County to transition to off-site learning, in turn dismantling traditional systems of care. Many working parents rely on their child’s school to provide a safe environment in which to leave them while they work. The closure of schools to in-person learning has forced parents to adapt.
Parents with adequate resources and flexible work arrangements have been able to find solutions to keep their children safe and learning this year. But for families who do not have the same resources and flexibility, a gap in childcare has emerged. In anticipation of this gap, key community stakeholders came to ABC with a call to form an action team to address it. There was concern that children would be left home alone, their parents unable to quit jobs to facilitate their child’s virtual learning or unable to afford the unexpected and ongoing cost of full-time childcare.
This team is comprised of the following direct care providers:
– Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay
– Encompass Early Education and Care, Inc.
– Greater Green Bay YMCA
– We All Rise/Black Youth Alliance
– YWCA Greater Green Bay
Also represented are the following organizations:
– Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin
– Brown County Health & Human Services
– Brown County United Way
– Casa ALBA Melanie
– Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W.
– Greater Green Bay Community Foundation
– Green Bay Area Public School District
– POINT Poverty Initiative
– Volunteer Center of Brown County
The team recently submitted a collective proposal to JBS USA for consideration by their JBS Hometown Strong initiative. If awarded, the grant would benefit 10 local nonprofit organizations. The primary goal of our proposal is to allow the five direct care providers on the team to create and subsidize additional childcare slots for school-age children in Brown County. Granted funds would also enable GBAPS to further support families with their technology needs. The proposal also includes four nonprofits who would support the direct care providers with things such as providing volunteers to give students one-on-one support, building trust in the Latinx community, and providing training to childcare staff.
We are proud of this unique proposal for a collective response to a community issue and ABC’s continued role as a facilitator and convener for important work in Brown County.