This story originally appeared on KSNV News 3 by Jeff Gillan.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — I met 5-year-old Ramir and his mom Indonica at the Nevada Strong Start Child Care Services Center in Las Vegas.
A few minutes earlier, the little boy was joined in a corner room with other little tikes, surrounded by toys and fun.
“Wow. This is a pretty nice playroom,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak/D-Nevada.
The reason Democrat Steve Sisolak dropped by, and virtually our entire Democratic delegation in Washington, is what this place is: a hub for new or existing child care providers to get the help they need to either start a daycare or expand.
This one-stop-shop includes agencies and experts who can get a daycare business up and running.
Tuesday was its official unveiling.
Getting more child care is crucial for Nevada if it wants to keep its economic recovery going. More childcare means more parents can go back to work.
“Exactly right. You’re not gonna go back to work if you’re worried about your child,” the Governor told me.
This Las Vegas “hub” is new and another opens in Reno later this year. Part of its funding came from the American Recovery Act–the covid relief bill, which provided nearly $2 million for the facilities.
The act is also pumping millions more to Nevada through child care stabilization grants and the Child Care and Development Block Grant program.
“We have over 400 licensed child cares across the state and our goal is to get 200 more in the very near future,” says County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who tells me this hub will help do that.
The Vegas Chamber is pitching in, offering child cares free membership, which allows them to tap into benefits to pass on to prospective workers, like 401k’s. That’s good for hiring.
“Because it will make them more competitive. It will give them an ability to open more doors to other parents who desperately need child care facilities,” says chamber President and CEO Mary Beth Sewald.
Ramir’s mom says child care’s been a challenge.
“One, making sure I find affordable child care, making sure I find child care that lines up with my schedule,” she says.
In the end, it’s all about taking care of children like Ramir, who today, had a blast.
“They even had Legos and stuff,” he said.