Winter Issue Highlights Child Care, Telehealth, Seasonal Fun and More

Pick up a copy to read about the challenges facing parents and child care providers, browse the child care directory, and find lots more features and things to do with kids.

Julanne Hohbach
Columbus Parent
Our Winter 2021 issue

Child care was a challenging issue for parents to grapple with even before the pandemic. Now, an already-complicated array of choices on provider quality, location and cost is fraught with even more variables—including whether you can secure a spot at all.

The issue is a thorny one, with wide-reaching impact. Child care centers are struggling to rehire staff members, many of whom were lured away for better wages at warehouse or call center jobs or found work-from-home opportunities after the state-mandated shutdown of early 2020 ended. As a result, these providers can’t operate at full capacity—the domino effect of which is that some parents can’t find an appropriate provider to watch their children, keeping them out of the workforce.

For our Winter issue cover story, freelance writer Kathy Lynn Gray did a deep dive into the current crisis, interviewing child care providers and associations, parents and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for their perspectives. Several hope the pandemic provides a wake-up call that the current system needs to change.

This story is a unique collaboration between Columbus Parent and Columbus CEO. Because the child care issue is so pervasive—affecting both families and the business community—we made the decision here at Dispatch Magazines to publish it for both audiences.

Along with the feature story, you’ll find our annual Child Care Directory, produced in partnership with Action for Children. This year, we highlight programs that have received five stars—the highest rating—from the state’s Step Up To Quality initiative. An online version of the directory includes Central Ohio providers who earned at least one star from the state, a compilation of almost 750 programs.

Plus, don’t miss the fun feature on two Central Ohio moms who use their own experiences to help other parents through their work at the websites Kitchn and Cubby, as well as stories on the telehealth boom, the benefits of coding, and our usual robust lineup of things to see and do with kids. The roundup of top local sledding hills and the holiday events calendar are seasonal keepers for sure.

Find a copy near you using our ZIP code database, read the e-edition online and continue to check our website for more stories from the current issue. 

Thanks for reading!

This story is from the Winter 2021 issue of Columbus Parent.