New study says Crawford County needs more childcare options

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ks. – A new study conducted by Girard’s Greenbush Education Service Center in conjunction with Pittsburg’s Family Resource Center reveals that Crawford County’s childcare capacity for infants and toddlers has not kept up with demand.

The executive director of the Family Resource Center says that they have a waiting list and the study’s findings are not news to her.

“We’ve always known there’s been a lack of infant and toddler care. What this study tells us now is that we have the data to prove that,” said Family Resource Center Executive Director Ann Elliott.

Officials with Greenbush and the Family Resource Center have been presenting the findings to city and county leaders and say meeting Crawford County’s childcare demands are essential to growing the economy and community.

“We feel like childcare should be recognized as a function of economic development because it is. If a parent doesn’t have childcare, they can’t go to work,” said Elliott.

Cayden Fondren is a Pittsburg father of two and both his kids are currently enrolled at the Family Resource Center.

He says it took his first child around two years to get in, and while his family’s childcare needs are now met, he’d appreciate more childcare resources for local parents who are still waiting.

“I would love to see more places open and more places like the (Family Resource Center.) The Center’s really good. They love the kids and teach them everything. If they had more places like this, it’d be absolutely amazing,” said Fondren.

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