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Community Based Child Care Grant Program Announced

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Department of Social Services (DSS) announced a total of $3 million in grant funding to expand child care opportunities in South Dakota communities. This funding is part of Governor Kristi Noem’s Investment Plan for Child Care. These funds will be used to develop innovative strategies and detailed plans aimed at addressing ongoing challenges that stem from the limited availability of child care resources.

“We have heard from so many communities that a lack of child care opportunities are preventing them from tackling their workforce challenges. By supporting them as they provide more opportunities, we will jump start the growth and development of these communities,” said GOED Commissioner Chris Schilken. “This grant will help so many facilities and families. We are pleased to be a part of it.”

Any child care facility that is impacted by the grant must be state-licensed. Applicant proposals who meet set criteria will be eligible for a planning grant of up to $50,000. Additional funding may be available for implementation, depending on the number of applicants.

Award preferences will be given to applicants who seek to find solutions to the child care workforce challenges; impact communities identified as child care deserts; seek to increase the accessibility to high-quality child care for infants and toddlers; support an employer-sponsored program or child care partnership; or seek to improve the child care landscape in a local community by addressing an “outside of the norm” challenge. The Community Based Child Care Grant overview, criteria, eligibility requirements, and application can be found here.

“The Department of Social Services looks forward to supporting our GOED colleagues as they work with community and business leaders to inspire new partnerships,” said DSS Secretary Matt Althoff.  “We are confident that these additional resources will provide new, sustainable, and, most importantly safe, solutions for child care in South Dakota.”

The emphasis will be for community-based child care solutions, which will require multiple entities to be involved in the planning and implementation.

Entities include, but are not limited to:

  • Local economic development organizations (preferred applicant);
  • Community coalitions/collaboratives/groups;
  • Public/private partnerships;
  • Local governments;
  • Businesses;
  • School districts;
  • Non-profit organizations;
  • For-profit organizations; and
  • Existing child care providers.

“As a parent, I know the importance of safe and trustworthy child care,” said Jesse Fonkert, GOED Deputy Commissioner. “This partnership will allow communities to tackle challenges head-on, helping families, employers, and communities across the state.”

The grant is provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) providing South Dakota with additional funds designed to create a stronger child care system and industry allowing parents equal access to high quality child care.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27. Awardees will be notified the first week of November.

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Stu Whitney / South Dakota News Watch

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