LaunchPad is the Child Care and Early Learning Coalition, established in October of 2018 to help solve the child care crisis in Kosciusko County. According to recent data, there is a shortage of 1,700 child care seats, and of the seats that we do have, less than one third are considered high quality according to Indiana’s rating system. We know that low and moderate income families cannot afford the cost of care, which can be $9,000 or more or more per year for one child. Another problem that compounds the situation is the lack of qualified early childhood educators. Early childhood education is one of the lowest paying professions. While regulations call for more education for teachers, wages are low and benefits are negligible.