WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Leaders say they have seen more and more employers seeking out child care incentives.
“Now employers are trying to provide options and opportunities to entice their employees to stay but then also recruiting talent,” Wichita City Council member Becky Tuttle said.
Tuttle says affordable, reliable child care is a barrier for many families.
“If an employer can be nimble and try to provide childcare on site, it certainly would be a benefit to their employees, which means it will be a benefit to them,” Tuttle said.
She says child care is a crucial part of a child’s development.
Tanya Bulluck, the executive director of Child Start, says she has been working on connecting employers to child care providers.
“If employers can get on board, which we’re starting to see a lot of that, and they can work, job seekers and workers can overcome that child care barrier if they get to know one another,” Bulluck said.
In USD 382, a part of their bond is adding a child care center and expanding Pre-K.
“That’s something that the district wanted to add in as a retention and recruitment, and it’s a real need in our community,” USD 382 superintendent Tony Helfrich said.
Creekstone Farms in Arkansas City is building a child care facility for its employees, saying it is workers’ number one need.
“Trying to find innovative ways is important for employers to be able to attract the workforce and providing benefits that they genuinely need, we believe will help keep folks wanting to come to work every day at Creekstone,” VP of Human resources and environmental health & safety Megan Stolle said.
She also says it should help with child care issues in Cowley County.
“Not only is this a benefit to our employees, but it’s going to help relieve some of the daycare strains here in Cowley County because it’s going to free up spots for other people to be able to allow their kids to use it and hopefully get them into the workforce,” Stolle said.
Stolle says offering this service is rare for their industry.
“We not only wanted to provide this as a resource for our employees, but we want to be a leader in our industry, and it’s a rare opportunity for the protein processing industry to be able to provide this benefit,” Stolle said.
Creekstone’s Walnut Valley Learning Center will have over 100 spots. They plan to work with Cowley County Community College to staff the center, and it will open this fall.