ReUNITED Lunch & Learn: Childcare

If you’ve ever had to find childcare in Greenville County, you know the struggle is real. Even if you do everything right, plan ahead and get on a waitlist before you’re pregnant, the cost for a quality childcare program is like paying a second mortgage every month. Now, imagine trying to find a high-quality program that will support early childhood development when you’re already struggling to make ends meet.  

United Way’s ReUNITED group hosts several Lunch & Learn events each year to bring older adults together and share the work being done to address urgent needs in our community. On Feb. 7,  Derek Lewis of Greenville First Steps joined us to discuss one of our community’s most critical barriers: childcare. From the cost of childcare for parents and the lack of available slots at childcare centers to the fragile and narrowing talent pipeline of childcare providers due to severely low wages and benefits for workers, ReUNITED members and guests were given an in-depth overview of the state of childcare in Greenville County.  

Lack of healthcare, competitive pay and other benefits are leading many childcare workers to look outside of the industry to support themselves and their families. Sixty-eight percent of Greenville County childcare providers report operating at less than 75 percent of DSS-licensed capacity due to lack of staff. And with our community on pace to add 240,000 people by 2040, we know that we will need thousands of additional childcare slots to support local families. 

United Way is working to bring together leaders and individuals impacted by the childcare crisis: parents, employers, childcare owners and operators, childcare workers, higher education administrators, and early childhood education experts. When you support United Way, you’re expanding access to high-quality childcare, from prenatal health initiatives to afterschool enrichment programs for students. 

We have witnessed a range of tenacious and committed groups and individuals advancing innovative solutions, including reexamining underused employer tax credits, piloting childcare referral programs and reducing regulatory barriers constricting the supply of high-quality childcare centers. United Way’s role in this work is to join, amplify and accelerate systemic change by playing a network weaver role—connecting people, projects and resources in mutually beneficial ways to advance community-level solutions. In this role, we can collectively inform better policy and decision-making directly aligned to the needs of our community. 

Complete the form below to stay up-to-date on United Way’s childcare work in the community. 


We are thankful for the leadership of the ReUNITED members who helped plan this insightful Lunch & Learn and look forward to more opportunities to engage our community at large in how we are working to build a better Greenville County for all. This is How We Win

Making a difference starts here


Making a Difference Starts Here

Thank you for joining us to build a stronger, more equitable Greenville County for all. Please complete the form below to stay connected with us. 

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