Child Care Business Supports
High-quality child care is critical to healthy children, families, and economies. The early learning opportunities that happen in child care settings are particularly important for children most likely to experience other compounding gaps in opportunities that lead to inequitable outcomes, including children from low-income families, children of color and children in under-resourced rural communities.
Families and businesses also rely on child care for a healthy workforce. Without stable, affordable child care, families can struggle to secure or maintain employment. Yet child care supply is limited and increasingly expensive, making it least accessible to those who need it most. Infant and toddler care is especially limited, as is care in rural communities. Children of color face access barriers, as do children from low-income households, of single employed parents, and of parents with limited English proficiency. Despite the high cost for parents, those providing child care typically earn low wages and function on thin profit margins, often making these types of businesses financially unstable and/or unsustainable, while leaving providers stressed and overwhelmed in the face of operating challenges.
Since 2019, OCF has been investing in an innovative model known as a Shared Services Alliance (SSA). SSAs bring child care providers together to create alliances wherein participating programs can receive business coaching, leverage technology, pool resources, and hire centralized staff to increase profitability, and remove administrative burden by streamlining business operations, so that providers can focus on delivering high quality child care.
The Oregon Child Care Alliance (OCCA) is an equity-driven, relationship-based shared services network of child care providers supported by regional and statewide infrastructure. The OCCA aims to stabilize and strengthen child care businesses, bolstering the child care ecosystem and increasing child care availability and accessibility. The OCCA provides business coaching, business training, and business services. In addition, participating providers can attend regular group meetings and find support among a local network of participating providers.