Twin Cities Development Partners with Gering Communities for Kids to Increase Childcare Capacity

Twin Cities Development Partners with Gering Communities for Kids to Increase Childcare Capacity Main Photo

23 Aug 2023


A 2022 market study underscored the importance of closing the childcare gap, and its ties to economic growth. TCD has included quality childcare in its five-year strategic plan because it is vital to the region’s future.  An expanded partnership between Twin Cities Development (TCD) and Gering Communities for Kids (C4K) will help to narrow the gap in providing quality childcare within Gering and the Twin Cities Nebraska region.
“Our hope is to increase the capacity at current childcare facilities and get some new childcare operations up and running. We also strive to help current and new operations provide quality services to our youth,” says Jordan Diedrich, TCD Executive Director, who added that 180 children don’t have access to a privately licensed or public early childhood program in Gering alone. “If we can accomplish this, we will be better able to retain, expand, and attract business to our area. We can be the conduit between these groups, so we collaborate on solutions.” 
So, how is quality childcare an economic issue? Many people who want to be in the workforce are forced to stay at home to care for their children or grandchildren because they have no other viable, safe options. In addition, quality childcare also has a big impact on the future workforce, as children need access to a quality education to teach them the social and emotional skills they need to be successful in school and in their future careers.    
“Childcare has a strong tie to Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) visits and initiatives. When we visit with local businesses, we ask them if access to quality childcare has an effect on their business and the answer is almost always yes,” says Diedrich. “Employees of most businesses struggle finding and keeping childcare for their children. Not having enough childcare in our region has a big impact on the amount, quality, and reliability of the workforce for businesses thus impacting retention, expansion and attraction.” 
Diedrich added, “One thing the Gering C4K asked TCD to help with was community engagement. Many people don’t realize what an issue childcare is in the area. We have set out to educate the public about it.” 
Twin Cities Development also supports narrowing the quality childcare gap by finding buildings, sites, providers, funding and partners. It has assisted many start-up childcare businesses in 2023. One idea that TCD has discussed is an incubator building for childcare businesses, like its entrepreneur center and entrepreneur kitchen, providing a low-cost space for multiple childcare operations. 

Diedrich adds, “Many municipalities in Nebraska have a Communities for Kids group like Gering. We strive to work with the entire panhandle on childcare initiatives but have a close partnership with the Gering program specifically. Gering C4K is specific to childcare within the City of Gering but is willing to support others if needed.” 

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