Choice Bank Awards $100,000 in Grants to 12 Child Care Facilities
We are excited to bring back the Choice Bank Child Care Grant for the second year! In 2022, we have three rounds of grant funding. Round 1 and Round 2 have concluded and so far we have distributed $100,000 in grant funding to 12 child care facilities across rural North Dakota.
The 2022 Choice Bank Child Care Grant Round 1 and Round 2 recipients are:
- Bailly Bunch Daycare, Walhalla, ND, received a grant to build an easily accessible entrance to their child care facility, as well as even out the outdoor play area to create a safer space to play.
- Busy B’s, Walhalla, ND, received a grant to support the start-up expenses of its new child care program and purchase age-appropriate toys for the children in their care.
- Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care, Hazen, ND, received a grant to outfit classrooms with age-appropriate furnishings to create a learning environment that will promote school readiness.
- Jessie’s Daycare, Grafton, ND, received a grant to install a fence around her yard to keep their children safe from the busy road.
- Junior Pirates Child Care, Steele, ND, received a grant to install a new sewer tank and system.
- Kid Zone Childcare, Tolna, ND, receive a grant to expand and remodel an additional room within their rented space to create an infant room.
- Little Learners Preschool, Northwood, ND, received a grant to purchase more equipment for their program as they were licensed to serve up to 15 more children.
- Milestones Early Learning Center, Carrington, ND, received a grant to purchase playground equipment for their brand new facility.
- Peterson’s Playhouse Daycare, Oakes, ND, received a grant to fund new indoor and outdoor play equipment.
- Sasha’s Daycare, Thompson, ND, received a grant to fund a new storage shed, front door, and swingset.
- Smartee Pants Daycare, Drayton, ND, received a grant to install new railings along their deck to ensure the safety of their children.
- Traci’s Childcare, Minto, ND, received a grant to install a radon mitigation system in their childcare facility.
“Child care providers in rural communities face a unique set of challenges. With this Child Care Grant, we hope to provide rural child care facilities with the extra support and resources they need to remain resilient,” Brian L. Johnson, Choice Bank CEO.
Choice Bank launched the Child Care Grant in 2021 to provide financial assistance to rural licensed child care providers. In 2o21, $150,000 was distributed among 16 rural child care providers through the Child Care Grant. Grant recipients are selected based on how well their proposed project would serve the underserved, expand who they can serve, and improve how they serve.
Child care is essential to the economic vitality of rural communities. Many rural towns are rapidly declining as their economic survival is dependent on access to child care. If a child care facility doesn’t have the resources to operate, parents are forced to commute elsewhere for child care. This leads to a progressive decline in rural communities as parents move and find jobs somewhere where child care is available and money begins to leave the community. Rural areas have the highest concentration of these childcare deserts compared to urban areas because barriers to funding and lack of resources can make it difficult for rural child providers facilities to remain successful.
“Choice Bank’s roots are in the rural communities of North Dakota. We see firsthand the work ethic and dedication of our neighbors coming together to better their communities,” said Brian L. Johnson, CEO of Choice Bank. “Child care providers in rural communities face a unique set of challenges. With this Child Care Grant, we hope to provide rural child care facilities with the extra support and resources they need to remain resilient.”
The demand for child care services far exceeds the current capacity of licensed child care providers in North Dakota. According to Child Care Aware of North Dakota, there are 120,371 children potentially needing care in North Dakota, yet the licensed child care capacity statewide is only 36,529. The Choice Bank Child Care Grant strives to support child care providers meet this demand.
Round 3 of the Child Care Grant is currently open and we will be accepting applications until November 1, 2022.
To apply for the Choice Bank Child Care Grant, visit bankwithchoice.com/childcaregrant/.