April 10, 2013 | LXXIII, No. 2

Daycare is a good cause

Editorial

Those looking for a good place to create a daycare center should be encouraged and helped to answer this critical, unmet need in the community.

To the casual observer, it may sound like a picayune cause over which to get worked up, but in this community it’s actually a critical economic development question, not to mention a potential child safety problem.

Not having access to licensed daycare leaves people who might wish to enter the local workforce no option but to stay out, or find a job that pays enough to hire a live-in nanny. That keeps the workforce smaller than it would otherwise be, driving up the cost of wages and discouraging risk taking on the part of some would-be entrepreneurs.

But lack of licensed daycare also means that those who must will find another alternative — the unlicensed variety. While they may be having luck with that at this point, leaving the safety of children up to luck seems like a poor strategy for a community that cares.

Grand Coulee’s zoning ordinances don’t allow for such a facility on Main Street, but those looking to establish one should be helped to find the right spot, rather than just turned away. Not doing so is not a failing of the city administration alone, but a community-wide shortcoming across the four-town area. We have no good inventory of possible commercial property, a basic tool for economic development.

Community leaders and those laudable would-be entrepreneurs should start working together to fix that.

Scott Hunter

editor and publisher

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