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Child care is essential to the economic vitality of rural communities. The Choice Bank Child Care Grant is here to support them.

Choice Bank Awards $50,000 in Grants to 6 Child Care Facilities

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We are very excited to be bringing back the Choice Bank Child Care Grant for the second year! In 2022, we have three rounds of grant funding. Round 1 just concluded and we have distributed $50,000 in grant funding to 6 child care facilities across rural North Dakota.

The 2022 Choice Bank Child Care Grant Round 1 recipients are:

  • Bailly Bunch Daycare, Walhalla, ND, is using the grant funds to build an easily accessible entrance to their child care facility, as well as
    create a safer outdoor space to play.
  • Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care, Hazen, ND, is using its grant funds to outfit classrooms with age-appropriate furnishings to create a learning environment that will promote school readiness.
  • Junior Pirates Child Care, Steele, ND, is using the grant funds to install a new sewer tank and system.
  • Kid Zone Childcare, Tolna, ND, is using the grant funding to expand and remodel an additional room within their rented space to create an infant room.
  • Little Learners Preschool, Northwood, ND, is using the grant funds to purchase more equipment for their program as they were licensed to serve up to 15 more children.
  • Milestones Early Learning Center, Carrington, ND, is using the grant funds to purchase playground equipment for their brand new facility.

Child Care Grant

“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. The program received 66 applications in its first year. Grant recipients were 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 2 of the Child Care Grant is currently open and we will be accepting applications until July 1. If you miss the Round 2 deadline, you can apply for Round 3 this fall. The Round 3 application deadline is November 1.

For more on the Choice Bank Child Care Grant, visit bankwithchoice.com/childcaregrant/.