On March 23, Nana Grants, PharmaCentra and Concentra Solutions hosted the first meeting of the Sumter County Early Childhood Education Initiative Roundtable. The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss the issue of affordable, quality child care in Sumter County and how it affects economic mobility and economic development in the county. The group explored five primary questions:

  • How does child care play a role in your organization?
  • How does child care affect the ability of local employers to find and retain qualified talent?
  • How does child care influence enrollment and retention at post-secondary institutes?
  • What are the barriers to quality child care in Sumter County?
  • How does lack of affordable child care limit economic mobility in Sumter County?

The discussion brought to light several top issues and concerns including:

  • a shortage of quality-rated child care providers in Sumter County, in particular those offering flexible, after-hours care;
  • how a lack of affordable child care prevents low-income families and single mothers from accessing GED training and secondary educational opportunities;
  • the employment challenges associated with training and employing working parents in a community that lacks affordable child care solutions.

“It was a real honor to host this round table focusing on this very important issue,” said Dan Berman, chief executive officer, PharmaCentra & Concentra Solutions. “The energy, excitement and passion of the stakeholders in the room was palpable. We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the discussion and the solution to improve access and quality of early childhood education in Sumter County.”

Attendees included:

  • Terrie Alby, chief operating officer, Albany Area YMCA
  • Dan Berman, chief executive officer, PharmaCentra & Concentra Solutions
  • Kimberly Christmas, vice president of human resources, PharmaCentra & Concentra Solutions
  • Dan Gillan, president/CEO, Albany Area YMCA
  • Sheila Hambrick, service coordinator, certified early intervention specialist, and Sumter County Family Connection collaborative volunteer
  • Diane Harrison, senior vice president of human resources, Magnolia Manor, Inc.
  • Krystal Heath, coordinator, Sumter County Family Connections
  • Jackie Holmes, owner, Jackie’s Lil Tooty Tots
  • Marcus Johnson, director of community relations & customer service, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center
  • David Peppers, human resources manager, Imerys Refractory Minerals
  • Erica Stephens, founder & executive director, Nana Grants
  • Bob Stinchcum, business/industry resource specialist, South Georgia Technical College
  • Quaslind Thomas, data processor & child care billing clerk, Albany Area YMCA
  • Judy Tott, Sumter County Family Connection Collaborative volunteer

The group will meet again in the second quarter of 2017 to begin exploring solutions to the challenges identified in this kick-off discussion.

About Nana Grants
Nana Grants, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to ensuring quality, reliable child care
for low-income mothers pursuing a postsecondary education. Each Nana Grant helps cover the cost of on-site technical college/university child care (per child) for roughly a year depending on the student’s program of study and the child care center tuition. We believe it is important for both the mother and child that we provide uninterrupted, stable child care for the duration of each recipient’s educational program. Our goal is to remove the uncertainty of continuous quality child care from the equation so that students can focus on their studies, graduate and get a good job that provides a living wage for them and their families. For more information visit www.nanagrants.org.

About PharmaCentra, LLC, and Concentra Solutions, Inc.
PharmaCentra, LLC, provides expert pharmaceutical marketing and sales strategies, strategic patient, pharmacy and physician outreach including clinical trial recruitment, pharmacy locator, teledetailing and comprehensive healthcare management strategies. For more information, visit www.pharmacentra.com. Concentra Solutions maximizes contact center performance through Quality Assurance, specializing in Compliance and Customer Experience. For more information, visit www.concentrasolutions.com.