We are excited to bring back the Choice Bank Child Care Grant for the third year! In 2023, we distributed $150,000 in grant funding to 16 child care facilities across rural North Dakota.
The 2023 Choice Bank Child Care Grant recipients are:
- Baby Steps, Hunter ND, received a grant to install a fence around their yard to protect children from a nearby busy road.
- Beulah Little People Preschool, Beulah, ND, received a grant for educational equipment including a SmartBoard and whiteboard.
- Build N Blocks, Beulah, ND, received a grant for fencing to ensure the safety of children.
- Buffalo Daycare, Buffalo, ND, received a grant to go toward the purchase of a new building.
- The Children’s Playhouse, Hazen, ND, received a grant to purchase winter outdoor gear so their children can spend time outside year-round.
- Dream Big Daycare, Hazen, ND, received a grant to convert their garage into an indoor gym.
- Explorers Academy, Horace, ND, received a grant to complete the outdoor play space at their new facility.
- Junior Pirates Child Care, Steele, ND, received a grant to replace their broken furnace.
- Kids Choice Daycare, Walhalla, ND, received a grant to purchase educational curriculum and tools.
- Kids Town House, Cavalier, ND, received a grant to replace its gutters, repair roof leaks, and add snow guards to the roof.
- LaMoure Cubs Child Care, LaMoure, ND, received a grant to upgrade their fence and install floor heating in their playroom.
- Little Honeys Daycare, Steele, ND, received a grant to go toward new playground equipment, toys, and learning tools.
- Milestones Early Learning, Carrington, ND, received a grant to install exterior doors in two classrooms.
- Park Playhouse Daycare, Cavalier, ND, received a grant to replace toys in their facility.
- Rocking Horse Child Care, Grafton, ND, received a grant to purchase supplies including a portable sink and changing table, play equipment, tables, chairs, and education STEM equipment.
- Sonshine Center, Casselton, ND, received a grant to purchase strollers, covers for the strollers, a storage shed, and a new washing machine.
“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. Since 2021, we distributed $450,000 among 53 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 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.
The Choice Bank Child Care Grant will be open again for applications later in 2024. To learn more about the Choice Bank Child Care Grant, visit bankwithchoice.com/childcaregrant/.