Like many places across the country, Central Oregon is experiencing a child care desert. To increase childcare options, last week, Oregon lawmakers passed HB-5202, allocating $8 million dollars to NeighborImpact in support of child care providers throughout the state. The nonprofit’s existing Child Care Resources program offers training, and business support to providers, preschools and early educators. These funds will create up to 1700 new child care openings in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Aspiring in-home and center based child care providers can access training through a partnership with COCC’s Small Business Development Center. Participants who complete the program will receive grants to support a business startup. The free trainings are eligible for college credit.