The need for childcare was identified in 2019 after a discussion with the City of Hillsboro, the Hillsboro Community Foundation, and business leaders across the County. The leading concern was presented as a workforce challenge due to the lack of available childcare. This discussion prompted the formation of a Taskforce charged with analyzing data and researching initiatives to address our childcare crisis in Marion County.
The Hillsboro Community Foundation (HCF), an affiliate of Central Kansas Community Foundation, made childcare their main goal in the Fall of 2018 to help Hillsboro and Marion County with our daycare challenges. HCF distributed several grants to in-home daycare providers to assist them with supplies and various training needed to run their daycare from their homes. Only two home daycare providers contacted us for those grants to which the HCF Board had allocated five of those grants.
Since 2019, the Taskforce has grown from a group of 20 passionate community members to an official 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit governing board. The Hillsboro Community Child Care (H4C) Board represents various sectors of our community including Civic, Education, Public Health, Religious, Business, Parent Representative, local Child Care Provider, and the Hillsboro Community Foundation.
A quick look into Marion County’s demographics from Child Care Aware of Kansas show the demand for childcare only being met at 32%. This means of the 507 children under the age of six with both parents in the workforce, there are 346 children that potentially need childcare.
In July of 2021, H4C completed a community needs assessment in partnership with K-State Research and Extension. The assessment results indicated a need for more overall childcare in addition to infant care.
H4C utilized the findings as a guide with the hope to establish a childcare center for up to 99 children birth through 5 years of age. In January of 2022, the plan came to life as H4C was graciously gifted a building from Trinity Mennonite Church with the intent to establish a childcare center. In addition to the childcare center, the facility will include office space for community entities that support families and youth.
Since the gift of the facility, the H4C Board has worked tirelessly with community and state partners to make H4C a reality. The work has included bi-monthly board meetings, communication with the architect firm, childcare licensing orientation, application of grants, networking events, forming partnerships, and seeking donations. The H4C board partnered with HCF by creating the H4C Childcare Fund in 2022. The H4C Board’s initial fundraising goal was to reach $600,000 in community donations. Once reached, H4C would be eligible for a matching block grant valued at $600,000 and additional private donation valued at $600,000. The H4C Board has announced this initial goal of $600,000 was reached in June of 2023.
Then in July of 2023, the H4C Board announced the Hillsboro Community Child Care Center received three separate sources of funding including: the Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant valued at $855,216 from the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, the Community Development Block Grant valued at $600,000 from the Kansas Department of Commerce, and a $600,000 local pledge.
The local donations collected by HCF have included many anonymous gifts and several large gifts from Container Services ($100,000) and Barkman Honey ($600,000). The Hillsboro Community Foundation would like to thank all the local donors for their donations to H4C. Without those gifts the grant money received would not have been available. The local donations received since September of 2022 are valued at approximately $1,150,000.
The Hillsboro Community Foundation and H4C’s partnership with the Patterson Family Foundation has been a big part of our fundraising efforts. First of the Patterson Family Foundation partnered with the Hillsboro Community Foundation with a $70,000 match grant of which $35,000 went to H4C. Within the Child Care Aware of Kansas, Child Care Capacity Building Plans Grant, we received $67,834 from the Patterson Family Foundation and from the Child Care Capacity Accelerator Grant we received $200,000.00 from the Patterson Family Foundation. The total amount of funding received through grants and matches from the Patterson Family Foundation was $302,834.
As the fundraising phase of the campaign continues HCF with their host organization, Central Kansas Community Foundation, evaluated short term investment strategies with the H4C Board. A campaign investment strategy allowing the fund to take advantage of the high interest rates was established. The strategy includes short-term CD’s and a money market pool for donation protection during this short-term project initiative.
The HC4 Board is incredibly thankful for the countless donations and overall support from the community! The Hillsboro Community Child Care Center (H4C) has truly been a community lead initiative. The understanding and value of childcare has only grown since that initial meeting in 2019.
As partners, the Hillsboro Community Foundation and H4C are planning to have a community celebration later this this year, so please stay informed. If you wish to contribute to this endeavor, Click Here or contact Max Heinrichs, Director of HCF, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620.947.0170.