Daycare Needs in Ashland County

Message regarding daycare needs in Ashland County: 

  • The Ashland County UW-Extension office partnered with the Ashland Area Development Corporation in the development of a survey that identified area needs for childcare.
  • We conducted this childcare survey of residents in Ashland County to determine the extent of unmet need for additional childcare.
  • Ashland County Daycare Needs: Summary Report – June 2015
  • We are continuing conversations with community leaders about how to address these needs.
  • If you are interested in opening a childcare business, we’d ChildcareProviderlove to talk to you about the needs and opportunities in Ashland.
  • Former staff who worked on this project included Dale Kupczyk, Former Executive Director at Ashland Area Development CorporationKathy Beeksma, Past Family Living Educator and Tom Wojciechowski, Past Community Development Educator with UW-Extension Ashland County office.

5 ChildrenBackground

Our office was asked by Dale Kupczyk, AADC, to help assess the need for daycare in the county (region). Concerns were raised by individuals and some employers that quality daycare in the region was very difficult to find and afford. This challenge may have a negative impact on people’s ability/availability for full or part-time work.

Kathy Beeksma, Family Living Educator and Tom Wojciechowski, Community Development Educator with University of Wisconsin-Extension agreed to help assess the situation, both real and perceived. Our first step was to determine how many providers exist in the County. From the Ashland County Health and Human Services Department (ACHHS) we learned that there are 41 providers of daycare/childcare in Ashland County. Of these, 17 are certified providers and 24 are licensed providers. We later learned that a few providers were not included in the list which is dynamic with providers closing and opening regularly (particularly in-home providers).

Laura Harnish at ACHHS is in charge of certification and creates and maintains the list. She stated that there are only a few childcare centers available; most are in-home care centers.  Additionally, most do not accept drop-ins.  If you think of that from a business perspective it makes sense:  day care businesses need to be able to anticipate income to ensure their viability.  Only three of the “centers” accept newborns. Costs range from $100 to $150 per child per week for full-time daycare enrollment.  Per state statutes, the youngest children require the highest staff to child ratio. Families cannot assume that cost is correlated to quality.

To learn more about information on Child Care Regulations, the Survey of Area Parents, Survey Results, Childcare Providers, Future Recommendations, and the overview Summary see link for “Summary Report” above.