GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Ottawa Area ISD is awarded a $32,000 grant to help improve childcare resources for kids and families.

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation selected Ottawa Area ISD as a Child Innovation Fund recipient. The fund awards projects and innovative movements involving childcare advancements.

“What we don’t have right now as a community is actually live childcare spots,” Tami Mannes, Director of Early Childhood Services for Ottawa Area ISD, said.

Mannes explained that this grant is an improvement over current childcare data that will help target specific availability in a daycare center since current data only shows how many students a daycare center can serve.

“We know that there’s a childcare in Holland and they can take 100 kids, but we don’t know if they have 100 kids in their seats with 20 on the waiting list or if they have 98 and could take two kids,” Mannes explained.

The money from this grant will allow Ottawa Area ISD to develop a system to gather enough data to help find childcare quickly and in real-time. 

“We need to help families find what’s right for them,” Mannes said.

For the full conversation with Mannes, check out the video found in the player at the top of this story.