COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS: Addressing the child care crisis in the Miami Valley

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Local families are struggling to find affordable, quality child care and preschool, a problem that hinders companies’ ability to hire workers, leaves some kids unprepared for kindergarten and takes a toll on the economy and society, a Dayton Daily News investigation found.

With families waiting up to six months for a child care slot to open and paying as much as 19.8% of their county’s median family income, the issue has reached a crisis for our region.

What is being done and can families expect relief anytime soon? The Dayton Daily News hosts a virtual Community Conversation about the child care crisis.

The discussion is co-hosted by Community Impact Editor Nick Hrkman and Dayton Daily News Reporter Lynn Hulsey and features panelists from around our region to help answer your questions about the state of child care in our region. Panelists include:

  • Lisa Babb, Strategic Director of Program Operations at 4C for Children
  • Shelly Jackson-Engram, Owner/Operator of Ms. Shelly’s Place
  • Robyn Lightcap, Executive Director of Preschool Promise
  • Will Petrik, Project Director for PolicyMatters Ohio
  • Rep. Andrea White, Ohio State Rep.

Have a question for our panel? Email it to

Community Conversations is a Dayton Daily News series of moderated panel discussions on topics important to the Dayton region. Watch the March Community Conversation about challenges and opportunities for women in the Miami Valley, the February Community Conversation about Black History Month, the January Community Conversation about the 2023 regional economic outlook and last November’s Community Conversation about hunger and others on the Dayton Daily News Facebook page.