Austin community working to address shortage of childcare

Days of Caring is just one of the ways it’s helping get more families able to use childcare.

Posted: Sep. 19, 2018 7:19 AM

AUSTIN, Minn. – It’s no secret there’s need for childcare in Minnesota. According to the United States Department of Human Services, the amount of childcare facilities dropped from about 12,000 in 2012 to just 10,000 in 2016.

In Austin, Catherwood Childcare Center is the only facility that accommodates kids with parents who work outside the traditional 9-5 shift.

That’s why it’s getting major renovations from a group of organizations in Austin.

“Having a really safe place for them to drop their kids off and be reassured while their at work is really important. Having one facility we really need to make sure it's in tip top shape,” Allie Gearhart, with United Way, said.
United Way of Mower County is hosting 4 Days of Caring during which volunteers will put in hundreds of hours to renovate the facility. The renovations include projects like painting the building’s swing set and replacing its deteriorating porch.

Other organizations helping out Catherwood are Austin HRA, Habitat for Humanity and private donors. Overall, the childcare center is getting about $100,000 from the organizations as part of a DEEDS Grant.

If people want to help with volunteer work, they can sign up here.

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