Aberdeen, South Dakota (Dakota News Now) – As the state’s childcare crisis continues, new subsidy options may help.
The Department of Human Services announced Monday that Gov. Christy Noem has approved $12.5 million in ARPA funding to expedite the expansion and launch of childcare facilities next year.
Sanford Children’s CHILD Services in Aberdeen said the area has seen a recent decline in childcare options and is providing resources to encourage the opening of more state-licensed providers.
Amanda Daniels, Family Life Educator at Sanford Child Services in Aberdeen, said:
Sanford CHILD Services will host an informational event on January 31st from 5:30pm to 6:30pm in the Aberdeen YMCA Community Room.
“We talk about the benefits of being state licensed, the many good benefits, the referral program, and the registration process. We help with everything,” Daniels said.
Daniels said Sanford CHILD Services can help anyone interested in becoming a state-licensed provider in the process, and the grant can keep costs down.
“Because state registration includes all these subsidies, it certainly has the potential to encourage people to register with the state. No, only if the state allows it.It’s well funded, so it’s a great opportunity for those who are interested.The grants can help with everything from startups to getting specific toys,” says Daniels. said.
The Center for Youth Development in Aberdeen says the pre-kindergarten and younger groups have the highest demand for care.
“Currently, the waiting list for newborns is six months. Most of our other age groups are also full, especially infants and toddlers.
YDC will begin expansion work this summer to double the space available for infants, and the need for more rooms has increased over the past few years.
“Recently, people calling for care have actually gotten a lot more calls since COVID. It seems like it was,” said Quast.
The expansion was initially estimated to cost $3.5 million, according to Quast, but inflation and supply chain issues pushed the total cost to $4 million. YDC has so far raised him $3.2 million for this project.
According to the Department of Social Services, grants can be used for facilities, supplies, health and safety items, labor costs, rent, and more. The deadline for grant applications is February 1, 2024.
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