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Press Release

Second Round of Child Care Funding Begins February 15

January 31, 2024

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Today, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Department of Social Services (DSS) announced the second phase of Governor Kristi Noem’s Investment Plan for Child Care.

The implementation phase of the Community Based Child Care Grant program portion opens on February 15. This phase will provide funding for communities to implement innovative, strategic, and detailed plans that address their individual child care challenges.

“Quality child care is important for successful workforce retention and recruitment,” said GOED Commissioner Chris Schilken. “This funding will advance our ongoing efforts to care for and grow our communities by bridging that gap.”

This phase has a total of $1.87 million available. Applicants that were awarded a planning grant will be automatically considered for an implementation grant contingent on the quality of the plans they produced in the planning phase. Each grant awardee will be eligible for up to an additional $500,000 to achieve the plan they developed, though the maximum award may be greater dependent on the number of applicants.

“The Department of Social Services is confident that these additional resources will inspire new, sustainable, and, most importantly, safe solutions for child care challenges in South Dakota,” said DSS Secretary Matt Althoff. “We look forward to seeing community, business, and child care leaders forge new partnerships in their efforts to expand child care resources across our state.”

Communities that have already created and developed a community plan but were not awarded funding from the planning phase are also eligible to apply for this phase. The amount awarded will be based on the needs identified in their plans.

The emphasis of this grant program is to provide funds for community-based child care solutions. Entities that collaborate to address this solution may include, but are not limited to:

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

Preferences will be given to proposals that:

  • Seek to find solutions to child care workforce challenges;
  • Impact communities identified as child care deserts (those with limited or no options for high quality child care);
  • Seek to increase the accessibility to high-quality child care for infants and toddlers;
  • Support an employer-sponsored program or child care partnership, to expand the number of child care slots (availability) in a community or accessibility (the times when child care might be available); and,
  • Seek to improve the child care landscape in their local community by addressing an ‘outside of the norm’ challenge.

Any child care facility that is impacted by this community based grant must be state-licensed, or have applied for and are working towards licensure.

“All eligible organizations are encouraged to apply for this funding,” said Deputy Commissioner Jesse Fonkert. “We want to help as many communities as possible fulfill their child care needs.”

In September, GOED and the Department of Social Services (DSS) announced the availability of $3 million in grant funding to expand child care opportunities throughout South Dakota communities. In November, GOED announced that 28 planning grants, totaling $1.13 million, had been awarded.

The deadline for this phase is February 29 at 5 p.m.

More information on this grant and examples of approved implementation expenses can be found here.

Contact Laure Swanson – Partner Relations Representative for the northeast and west regions, 605-280-6299, or Casey Peterka – Partner Relations Representative for the southeast region, 605-408-1255, with questions.

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