Ottawa Area ISD gets $150K grant to support child services
Day care becoming increasingly scarce in Ottawa and Allegan counties
Officials from the Ottawa Area School District said Tuesday it has been awarded $150,000 towards its childcare expansion efforts.
The district is one of 16 recipients from across the State of Michigan that have been awarded funds from the Regional Child Care Planning Grant.
According to the Ottawa Area ISD, access to affordable childcare has become increasingly difficult for parents in the Holland and Zeeland, with only one childcare spot for every two children in Ottawa County.
The District says the childcare grant will give families more options at little or no cost out of pocket.
“The goal of this is to ensure that families have access to quality care where it matters,” said Dr. Tami Mannes, Director of of Early Childhood Services at OAISD.
(“It’s important) that we use the systems that we have to ensure that it’s affordable; and if they aren’t, how do we scale that up differently then,” she said.
The need for childcare has become so great in Ottawa County, the largest employer in the area, Gentex, recently announced it will be constructing an $18 million, 43,000-square-foot facility on its Zeeland based headquarters that will include 12 daycare rooms, three infant rooms, a food preparation area and an indoor play center.
In an effort to address the shortage of childcare options, Ottawa County officially earlier this year announced a new collaboration with the Outdoor Discovery Center Network that aims to build 1,000 new childcare spots in the area over the next four years.