As early as September, parents in Naknek and King Salmon will be able to enroll their kids in a state-approved childcare provider.
Naknek will soon have a new childcare and pre-Kindergarten program. Katie Copps-Wilson is working on developing the “Little Angels Academy.”
A mother of three, Copps-Wilson says the lack of available childcare in Naknek has been a challenge for her.
“I would love… to get my baby socialized,” Copps-Wilson said. “I’d love for her to play with kids her own age. But I’ve found it difficult.”
Copps-Wilson says the shortage of childcare workers is a real drain on the local economy. While there are good babysitters in town, she says there’s not enough to keep up with demand.
“There’s a lot of families here that can’t stay here because there’s no childcare. There’s a lot of places that can’t hire people because there’s no childcare available,” Copps-Wilson said. “I think our community’s really missing out on families staying and families moving in because of the lack of childcare.”
Copps-Wilson is working on getting the Academy licensed as an approved provider, so that eligible parents would be able to use state childcare assistance to enroll their kids. She says the pre-kindergarten aspect of the program will likely come later on, but hopes to open doors for daycare in early September.