“Childcare is an essential resource for families and it’s important that we are hiring and equipping people with this training,” says Rose Fetzer, KLC Adult Learning Services Navigator.
While work is being done on the state level to address these problems, local communities are also taking action. It’s one of the reasons the Edison Early Childhood Education Career Pathway was started. It’s a partnership between the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, Southwest Childcare Resources, and YWCA Kalamazoo to help people pursue a career in early childhood education. A major part of the program is a full-time, paid eight-month apprenticeship that will result in a childcare development associate credential.
This program partnership will create an employment pipeline in Kalamazoo County. Apprentices will train as early learning professionals at YWCA’s new Edison Children’s Center, on the lower level of The Creamery apartment building at the intersection of Portage and Lake streets in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood.