LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A new facility aims to improve childcare services in town.

Nevada Strong Start childcare services in the southeast valley is a statewide resource to keep childcare centers operating.

At the height of COVID-19, many childcare businesses closed, impacting access to affordable and quality care for many families. Childcare provider Gayle Thomsen said the grand opening of Nevada Strong Start couldn’t have come at a better time.

 “There’s licensing help. There’s Urban League for parents,” Thomsen said. “If we need help doing something, they’re here for us.”

Nevada Strong Start childcare center is a one stop hub providing support and resources. It’s something providers say is much needed during this pandemic.

“There were a lot of shutdowns, so we didn’t know legally what we needed to do,” said Anitra Lott, who is also a childcare provider. She turned to Nevada Strong Start to use its resources to establish an in-home childcare center.

“Now I don’t have to spend — or anyone has to spend — countless hours calling around, trying to find where do you do these things,” Lott said. “And it would help cut down on the confusion that takes place because sometimes you get information that might not be viable.”

Thomsen said she knows the struggle families face.  She supplies 24-hour care services and is providing relief for her own family by watching her granddaughter.

“A lot of my parents are essential workers, anywhere from frontline to working in hospitals,” Thomsen said.

“There’s so many calls and I just can’t help everybody,” she said. “We do what we can with the time that we’re given. So I’m just really happy that we do have better resources now. They’ve always been there but it’s just hard to find those resources.”

Nevada Strong Start is the first of its kind to open in Las Vegas. A second location is scheduled to open in Reno this year.