March 9, 2022 Ticonderoga, NY – Skilled and reliable childcare is one of the biggest challenges to the residents and employers of the North Country. In fact, by federal and state standards, the North Country is considered a childcare “desert.” If you are a parent of small children or an employer, you are likely all too familiar with the challenge of unavailable or unreliable resources. It’s a big problem impacting our ability to sustain our families and our economy.
According to a November 2021 survey done by the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country, Ticonderoga and the surrounding communities have one of the highest vulnerability scores in the region, with just 1 slot for every 6 children that need childcare (Child Care Deserts in the North Country: A Region in Crisis). 78% of households experience work issues due to childcare challenges. Additionally, 50% of employers stated their ability to hire and/or retain employees is negatively affected by the lack of childcare.
This month, the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance and Ticonderoga Central Schools are leading a coalition of towns, civic groups, schools, and employers in an effort to assess childcare availability and quality in our community with the goal of creating more childcare resources. Having the right data to guide our efforts is a critical first step in tackling this challenge. They are asking the community to support the effort by taking the Childcare Survey at https://www.ticonderoga-alliance.org/challenge-of-childcare.
The survey is sponsored by Ti-Alliance, Ticonderoga Central School District, Silver Bay YMCA, Sylvamo (Ticonderoga Mill), Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, and the five towns. Residents and those who work in Ticonderoga, Hague, Putnam, Crown Point, and Moriah are encouraged to take the survey to help gather accurate information on the community’s needs. The survey is completely anonymous to encourage maximum participation and candid responses.
The survey will help establish our community’s needs for “kid slots,” age groups, convenience, scheduling, and more. Anyone with children ages infant to 17 or who has family members with children is encouraged to fill out the short survey. The survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
For households that might not have Internet access, paper copies of the survey can be found at the town offices and school administration offices in all five towns. Those offices will also collect completed surveys.
According to Donna Wotton with Ti-Alliance, the data from the survey will be shared widely with the community and employers. They are currently assembling a committee to work on solutions, including potential facilities, staffing requirements, training, funding, and many logistics. Residents with ideas, expertise, skills, and funding who would like to participate in discussions can email Donna Wotton at firstname.lastname@example.org about getting involved in the community-wide effort.
For more information about the Ticonderoga Area Childcare Survey and the challenge of childcare in our community, visit www.ticonderoga-alliance.org/challenge-of-childcare.