How Child Care Answers Helps the Community January 18, 2018 Cheryl TylerCommunity No Comments by Cheryl Tyler, Outreach Coordinator At Child Care Answers, you may know us as the go-to resource for families and child care providers. Did you know we also offer services to the community? BUILDING BLOCKS FIRST When we work with the community, we start with the basics. Our team educates members of our community on the importance of early childhood education. We explain the importance of brain development, quality social-emotional interactions, and preparing children for the future. We also work with Human Resource departments to assist their employees with finding quality child care. FORMING PARTNERSHIPS Our work includes participation in several coalitions, committees, and service organizations throughout the six counties we serve. Personally, I am part of the following groups, just to name a few: Early learning coalitions in Bartholomew and Johnson counties The Brown County Community Network Systems of Care Other members of Child Care Answers also attend meetings with organizations such as: Easter Seals Prevent Child Abuse Marion County The Indiana Afterschool Network The State Breastfeeding Coalition These groups are just a sampling of the groups of which Child Care Answers staff are a part. At these meetings, we share information and updates about Child Care Answers. For those attending these meetings, or the clients that our social service partners may have on their caseload, we can answer questions about our services. GETTING THE WORD OUT Another great aspect of our work with the community revolves around community fairs and events. At such events, we staff an information table with information on Paths to QUALITY, On My Way Pre-K, CDA, and CACFP. Depending on the audience for the event, we stock our booths with any other information that meets the need. We also offer to do onsite referrals for any families seeking child care. Each of these types of events allow us to educate the community about quality early care and education, as well as assisting families in making informed decisions about the type of care that best fits their needs. We are able to network with the other vendors at each event. This networking allows us to form collaborations and connections with community members who may not be aware of our services or how we can assist their clients. The exposure we receive at such events is critical in continuing to educate the public on the importance of early childhood education.