BUFFALO, N.Y. — ​The pandemic has exposed a lot of employment-related issues, including one working parents may know all too well – a pack of available and affordable childcare.

There’s a new program in Western New York that hopes to shape the future of childcare. It’s called “Building Innovation for Equitable Child Card.” The program will launch at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

It's paid for through "Pivotal Ventures," an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates.

The program aims to evaluate the demand for childcare, refine the cost to provide it and identify the locations for a childcare center on, or near, the medical campus.

The Western New York’s Women Foundation has been pushing for enhanced childcare since 2015. Members say the need only grows as time passes.

"So, we have to address that by strategically standing up existing childcare providers to grow and strengthen," said Sheri Scavone, WNY Women's Foundation executive director. "As well as the potential for a new center such as this one."

Buffalo is one of nine cities across the country to be involved in the test program.