Announcing the Early Childcare Investment Policy Initiative

February 08, 2024

The Jefferson Educational Society launched the Early Childcare Investment Policy Initiative supported by grant funding from The Erie Community Foundation.

As research indicates, access to quality, affordable childcare is directly linked to the well-being of Erie's children, families, communities, businesses, workforce, quality of life, and overall prosperity.

That team of policy experts, led by Erie-based consultant Court Gould will assess Erie’s childcare challenges, and propose recommendations for practical remedies to confront this nationwide crisis with local-level solutions thanks to a grant from The Erie Community Foundation.

“Our goal at The Erie Community Foundation is to bring together diverse perspectives to tackle community challenges,” said Patrick Herr, Vice President of Community Impact, The Erie Community Foundation. “Supporting parents with quality childcare is a double investment in our workforce and our children, which aligns with our vision of a united, vibrant and thriving region for all.”

"JES, in its role as a driver of community progress, will engage those who are invested in Erie's progress in exploring the power of early childcare with its many positive ripple effects through a team of policy experts our think tank has contracted with thanks to the generous support of The Erie Community Foundation,” said Dr. Ferki Ferati, JES President. “We look forward to the practical policy solutions this team will offer coming out of their extensive research over the coming months.”

There is precedence for the JES examining childcare. The think tank published “Caring for Erie’s Economy: Childcare is Economic Development,” in July 2021, written by Gould. Most recently, the JES’s Civic Leadership Academy 2023 cohort spent more than seven months exploring the issue, and will produce the forthcoming “Raising the Next Generation: Realities of the Childcare Landscape in Erie County,” a report of their findings.

Working over the first six months of 2024, the Early Childcare Investment Policy Initiative Team, in addition to Gould, features the expertise of:

The team will be making a series of public presentations throughout the county. Those interested in hosting a conversation regarding the initiative are welcome to contact Court Gould by clicking here. Additionally, to learn more about early childcare and this initiative, click here.