What is the best way to connect families with a number of appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies? The 211 non-profit call center can help with a number of needs such as finding day care, adult care, food, shelter and more. 1
These services are available nationally including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Available services vary from state-to-state depending on needs and funding. All 36 Oregon counties and southwest Washington have access to 211 via the telephone, text, email, online database, and mobile app. 1
Originally, 211 was a non-profit crisis line contact center that transformed into the 211 service we have today. Originally, 211 was created as a non-profit crisis line contact center and became available statewide in 2013. It has evolved over the years as a referral service for all kinds of needs including childcare. All 36 counties in Oregon plus some in southwest Washington have this free service available. 2
Service options vary from recreational to assistance programs, including childcare references. “There is something in it for everyone” Carrie Prechtel said in a recent interview with Ashland Tidings newspaper. 3 Starting this month, they are adding a 24/7 foster parent hotline and increased referrals for any type of childcare services.
From the www.211info.org home page (www.211info.org) scroll down to the Child Care and Parenting link. There is a link for Childcare at the top of the list. This will lead you to a very interesting childcare resource page that includes checklists, tips, and opportunities to obtain a childcare referral. Their services are available Monday-Friday 7 am – 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8 am – 8 pm.
At the bottom of the first section on the Child Care and Parenting page, you will see a link that will allow you to search an online database for child care services. This link sends you to Find Childcare Oregon database (https://orm.naccrraware.net/orm/ormSearch) that will allow zip code and city searches. This program generates a map of providers in your zip code and additional data about that service (5-star rating, type of service, phone, hours of service, and age range. It does not include information on availability.
Care Connection has a similar program that includes an online database of service providers. Coos County is served through www.socc.edu/careconnections. Navigate to the bottom of the page and select the Resources Tab. On the left hand side there will be a list that leads back to the 211info site and to the Oregon Child Care Central (http://oregonccrr.com/child-care) site listing child care resources and phone numbers by Oregon county and linking back to the Find Childcare Oregon database.
For more information contact www.211info.org or call 1-866-698-6155.
1 About Us (https://www.211info.org/)
2 What is 211? (https://www.211info.org/about-us-overview)
3 211 service connects people with resources, Ashland Tidings (https://ashlandtidings.com/news/top-stories/211-service-connects-people-with-resources
Quality childcare is critical to business retention and expansion (BRE). What do you do when you can't find it and lose scarce talent when it is not readily available to your employees? Maybe there is a different way to think about the problem and help on the way.