United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia. In order to do so effectively, we must address ongoing issues in employee retention and new employee attraction. We recognize that Southwest Virginia has about a 20.4% gap between available childcare slots and the need for childcare slots whereas the state-wide average in Virginia is only about 9.1%. Childcare costs throughout Southwest Virginia can amount to 1/5 of a family's total budget. To address these concerns that are only growing with time we must expand access to affordable childcare, strengthen our current network of providers, and build a cohort of professional early childhood educators. Learn more about our ongoing initiatives to accomplish these goals by reading about ChildCareWorks and the Early Childhood Career Pathway.
Not only will expanding access to affordable and high-quality childcare help us to grow by allowing current residents who are out of the workforce now because of childcare constraints to return to work but also it will allow us to attract young families and higher paying jobs.