October 2023

Expanding Childcare Access and Developing New Providers

Central Oregon Community College is creating immediate childcare slots while addressing the long-term need by training individuals for careers in early childhood education.

Expanding Childcare Access and Developing New Providers
Grant Date:
October 2023
Grant Value:

Central Oregon Community College - Bend, Oregon

Central Oregon is a well-documented childcare desert, with only one open childcare slot for every three children in the region. Much of this is attributable to the existing staffing shortages in childcare in the community.

Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC’s) Madras campus will build a 24,000 square-foot expansion to address three of the largest workforce and community needs in the region and the state: the demand for well-trained early childhood educators, the shortage of healthcare workers, and the shortage of available childcare slots. COCC’s Early Childcare Education (ECE) program will serve both as a workforce development center for future educators and as a childcare center for the local community, offering up to 100 childcare slots operated by a third- party provider, The Children’s Learning Center. Both the ECE program and the on-site childcare center will be designed and operated according to State of Oregon standards, and the health careers programs (which will include Nursing, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Medical Assistant) will be fully accredited and designed to meet the needs of local health care providers. ECE and health programs at COCC Madras will graduate up to an additional 88 students per year, giving local students the needed skills and credentials to immediately enter the workforce. The COCC Madras camps expansion will be a community-centered space and will feature multiple classrooms, labs, offices, and the childcare center.

Groundbreaking for the new Madras campus facility is expected in the spring of 2024.

The JTMF Foundation is excited to support COCC Madras Campus expansion project and the impact it will have for Jefferson County students, families, and the community.