EDC of Wayne County’s Future-Focused Initiative: Filling Child Care Gap with Employer Benefits

Innovative partnership with TOOTRiS to initially provide 1,700 area employees with free access to Child Care platform – setting stage for future expansion.

Richmond, IN – The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Wayne County is proud to announce a leading-edge partnership with TOOTRiS, the nation’s largest Child Care platform, to create a Child Care Benefit Initiative aimed at helping area employers grow and retain their workforce.

The EDC recognizes that attracting and retaining a quality workforce—both now and in the future—is a key challenge that all Wayne County industries need to address, especially manufacturing. According to Deloitte, an anticipated 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will open in the next decade, with 2 million likely going unfilled due to a skills gap. While women represent the largest untapped talent pool, a lack of access to affordable Child Care options is limiting their ability to join or remain in the workforce.

To address this talent challenge for employers and support the community, the EDC of Wayne County has developed this collaborative initiative with TOOTRiS to provide Child Care Benefits to seven participating local companies – Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Berry Global, Earlham College, Primex Plastics, Primex Design & Fabrication, Northeastern Wayne School Corporation, and Dot Foods. The primary objective is to help these employers attract and retain a strong, dedicated workforce while simultaneously supporting the overall economic well-being of working parents.

“A lack of affordable, high-quality Child Care can prevent parents from advancing in the workforce, hinder children’s access to structured learning at an early age, and burden employers with absenteeism and employee turnover,” said Valerie Shaffer, President at EDC of Wayne County. “Through this strategic alliance with TOOTRiS, our employers can now support working parents, giving them the freedom to equitably advance in their careers by connecting them to Child Care options that meet their specific needs.”

The EDC’s initiative comes at a crucial time when the demand for flexible, accessible, and affordable Child Care is higher than ever. By providing funding for the initiative, it is making a bold statement about its commitment to the future economic growth of its employers and their employees.

Key benefits of the Child Care Benefit Initiative include:

  1. Comprehensive Child Care Options: The TOOTRiS platform offers availability to over 200,000 unique programs across the country with online enrollment up to a year in advance for standard and nonstandard hours of care, drop-in, after-school, specialized learning, summer camps, and extracurriculars.
  2. Flexibility and Convenience: The partnership gives parents 24/7 access to the TOOTRiS network which allows them to easily search, vet, and enroll directly with licensed Child Care providers and see real-time availability.
  3. Making Child Care More Affordable: In addition to parents having more options, TOOTRiS makes it easy for employers to provide stipend support and for parents to access Child Care subsidies.
  4. Peace of Mind: Parents can confidently pursue their careers knowing that their children are in safe and nurturing environments.
  5. Improved Retention and Recruitment: By offering these Child Care Benefits, participating Wayne County employers can increase employee retention and attract top talent.

The EDC of Wayne County in conjunction with the Duke Energy Foundation are providing financial support to bring the Child Care Benefit Initiative to Wayne County for the first 1,700 spots available on a first-come, first-serve basis. These spots have been secured by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Berry Global, Earlham College, Primex Plastics, Primex Design & Fabrication, Northeastern Wayne School Corporation, and Dot Foods. Additional employers are welcome to join the initiative at their own cost at any time.

This initiative exemplifies the EDC of Wayne County’s commitment to fostering a thriving business community and supporting the workforce that drives it. By alleviating the Child Care burden on families, this partnership with TOOTRiS serves as a beacon of hope for employees and a catalyst toward sustainable future success in our region.

For more information, please contact Theresa Lindsey (theresa@whywaynecounty.com).


About the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County:

The EDC of Wayne County is a leading organization dedicated to driving economic growth, innovation, and prosperity in Wayne County, Indiana. Committed to fostering a business-friendly environment, the EDC collaborates with businesses, government agencies, and community stakeholders to facilitate sustainable economic development.

About TOOTRiS:

TOOTRiS is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive Child Care network, with nearly 200,000 providers, making access to care convenient, affordable, and on-demand.  TOOTRiS’ unique technology unifies key stakeholders, enabling employers to provide fully managed Child Care benefits, so their workforce has the flexibility and family support they need while organizations seek to increase productivity and their ROI. Through the platform, TOOTRiS helps parents and providers connect and transact in real-time, empowering working parents to secure quality Child Care while allowing providers to unlock their potential and fully monetize their program.