WEIRTON, W. Va.- West Virginia’s child care providers are facing an uncertain future. With COVID-related changes to reimbursement rates, child care providers were able to stay open, but, with the extension slated to end and policy addressing the state’s child care reimbursement rates failing to move during legislative session, many local child care providers are reaching out to their communities for support.The sixth of seven community town halls across the state this month will be held in Weirton on Wednesday, May 3. The event is hosted by a local child care, Miss Tiffany’s School for Young Children. Tiffany Gale, director of Miss Tiffany’s, and part of the ‘Champions for Child Care’ with WV Association for Young Children, believes that “if we want to increase our labor workforce then we must invest in child care.” These town halls will provide communities with a firsthand look at some of the obstacles child care providers face and hear how important child care is for families and local businesses. There will also be options available for community members to show their support.According to Child Care Aware of America and TEAM For West Virginia Children, 42.6% of West Virginia children under the age of six need but cannot access child care. West Virginia rates 50th in the nation for child care accessibility, and 64% of West Virginia families live in a child care desert.¬†“In a state with one of- if not the- lowest workforce participation rates, child care is absolutely an economic justice issue,” states community organizer Amy Jo Hutchison, representing MomsRising and the leader of the grassroots movement Rattle The Windows. “Without access to affordable and quality child care, families cannot work. People and businesses won’t move into a state that does not have even the beginnings of a care infrastructure, and child care is an integral part of that.”Inspired by a national day of action, “A Day Without Child Care Town Halls” will be held throughout the state during the month of April and into May in Wheeling, Oak Hill, Harpers Ferry, Weirton, Bridgeport, Charleston, and Lewisburg, and on May 8th, A Day Without Child Care will be observed across the nation. A list of dates and locations can be found on the WV Association for Young Children website and Facebook page. “The state that supports child care is the state that businesses will move to,” said Gale.The event in Weirton will be held Wednesday, May 3, at Weirton Millsop Community Center. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the event beginning at 6:00 p.m. There will be opportunities for people to get involved to show support for WV child care. A town hall will be held in South Charleston on the same date. Contact Miss Tiffany’s School for Young Children at 614.623.1871 for more information.Sent from¬†Hometown News