Access to child care is critical to the health and economic stability of our rural communities. However, barriers to funding and lack of resources can make it difficult for child providers facilities to remain successful.
The survival of these rural communities is dependent on access to child care. If a facility doesn’t have the resources to operate, parents are forced to commute elsewhere for child care. This leads to a progressive decline in our communities as parents move somewhere where child care is readily available and money begins to leave the community.
The demand for child care services far exceeds the current capacity of licensed child care providers in North Dakota. According to Child Care Aware ND, there are 120,370 children potentially needing care in North Dakota, yet the licensed child care capacity statewide is only 36,529.
To address this need for rural child care, we are launching the Choice Bank Child Care Grant Program. This grant program will provide financial assistance to supply rural North Dakotan child care facilities with the resources to continue to provide their vital service to our communities. All licensed child care providers are eligible for this grant, whether you provide in-home child care services or operate a child care center. The Choice Bank Child Care Grant strives to celebrate the vibrancy of our small communities and the dedication of our child care providers.
“Families and 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 stay resilient,” Brain L. Johnson, CEO
“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. “Families and 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 stay resilient.”
The Choice Bank Child Care Grant offers funding opportunities for three different types of expenses:
- Start-Up Support: Support costs associated with establishing a new child care facility
- Replacement or Expansion Costs: Support costs to expand new or existing facilities, renovate the facility, purchase new or replace/repair equipment, etc.
- One-time Operating Expenses: Funding of one-time expenses to support standard operating costs. Examples include training for staff, one-time hiring bonuses, one-time contributions to employees’ Health Savings Accounts, etc.
Eligible applicants must:
- Be licensed by the state of North Dakota or have a pending application,
- Be prepared to open within 6 months if opening a new facility,
- Be based in and serve families in the following counties: Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Dickey, Grand Forks, Kidder, LaMoure, Mercer, Pembina, Stark, Stutsman, or Walsh
- Be located in a community with a population of less than 10,000
- Be in good financial standing
Grant funding may also be used to reimburse a prior project completed on or after January 1, 2021, or fund a future project to be completed before September 20, 2022.
Learn more about the Choice Bank Child Care Grant and submit an application here.