The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Santiam are inviting parents to take part in a child care survey to determine if there are unmet needs in the Lebanon area.

Kris Latimer, the clubs’ executive director, said the organization is leading the survey effort, but the information will be used by a wide range of community groups.

Latimer said the idea for the survey began after conversations with leaders at the the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home, Samaritan Health Services, and Western University COMP-Northwest, among others. These discussions seemed to indicate that quality child care continues to be in short supply.

Once the survey results are in, these and other community partners will study the data and decide how to proceed.

“We want to be very analytical about this,” Latimer said. “We do not want to do something that is not needed and isn’t financially supported.”

The survey, which is anonymous and takes about four minutes to complete, asks parents if they believe there is a need for other child care options, how much they are willing and/or able to pay for these services, and what type of programs would be of the greatest benefit. Survey participants can give their contact information if they wish to be contacted, but it is not required.

Latimer said the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Santiam are deeply involved in providing child care, but are currently at full capacity. Between all of their sites, the clubs provide after-school care for 600 children. Another 85 children are enrolled in the clubs’ preschool programs.

"We have a firm belief that more kids need access to preschool," Latimer said.

The Lebanon Regional Childcare Demand Survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LebanonRegCC. The survey will remain open through the end of June.

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