child care

Joe Fiala, partner relations director for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, speaks Sept. 21, 2023, at an Early Learner Summit in Brookings. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

State unveils $3 million grant program for community child care solutions

BY: - September 21, 2023

BROOKINGS — Child care is a workforce issue. Providers, business professionals and experts have been saying that for years. On Thursday, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Department of Social Services announced a $3 million grant program to expand child care in the state. The Community Based Child Care Grant, which uses federal […]

Supporters tour Panther Cubs Academy in Platte during a fundraiser weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Child care shortage drives construction contractor to create his own solution

BY: - September 17, 2023

Platte has been good to Tyler Samuelson and his family.  Over the past 15 years, the owner of Summit Contracting has seen his family’s business grow into the largest employer in the south-central South Dakota town.  Lately, Platte’s meager 1,300 population has become a problem for the growing business, which manufactures “anything on the farm […]

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Statewide high school course trains students to become child care workers

BY: - July 7, 2023

There are 12,260 licensed child care slots in Sioux Falls, but 64% of child care centers can’t enroll their licensed capacity because they don’t have enough workers, according to the Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative. That cuts actual available slots by hundreds — and it’s a familiar situation across the state. The collaborative presented the results […]

(Daria Nipot/Getty Images)

Legislative committee approves changes to child care licensing rules

BY: - June 13, 2023

The Legislative Rules Review Committee approved new rules Tuesday for child care licensing from the Department of Social Services meant to address a severe child care shortage in the state. The new rules cut training hours for child care center providers in half and allow providers to care for more children at once than laid […]

Kerri Tietgen, center, the CEO of EmBe in Sioux Falls, speaks during a hearing on proposed changes to South Dakota's rules for child care providers. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Early childhood groups come out against proposed daycare rules

BY: - May 12, 2023

Child care organizations came out in force on Friday against looser rules for daycares that would let adults care for more children at once. The pushback came even as some daycare providers lauded the changes as “actionable” steps to address what they described as the state’s child care crisis. Among other adjustments, the proposal from […]

Matt Althoff, secretary of the state Department of Social Services, speaks to the Legislature's Interim Appropriations Committee on May 3, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Committee livestream screenshot/SDPB)

Grants could add 2,400 openings at child care centers

BY: - May 3, 2023

Money from the federal government could soon help add about 2,400 openings for kids at new and expanding child care centers in South Dakota. The money comes from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, which Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed into law in 2021. The legislation was a response to the economic […]

(Daria Nipot/Getty Images)

Child care needs greater attention from the Legislature

BY: - April 6, 2023

Veto day may have been the official end of the legislative session, but it did not mean the end of legislative work. The work of lawmakers continues past those nine weeks in the winter as veto day also marks the start of the summer study season. On veto day, the Legislature’s Executive Board met to […]

The South Dakota House of Representatives chamber at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Legislature will tackle county funding and long term care in summer studies

BY: - March 27, 2023

The 2023 legislative session ended Monday, but legislators are already preparing and researching issues ahead of the 2024 session. The Legislature will conduct two summer studies this year focusing on long term care sustainability as well as county funding and mandated services, the Executive Board decided Monday. The summer studies allow legislators to learn about […]

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Proposed child care licensing changes cut required training in half

BY: - January 17, 2023

Child care providers’ annual training requirements would be cut in half, based on proposed changes to child care licensing standards by the state Department of Social Services. Gov. Kristi Noem has made child care one of her leading priorities in her second term, addressing the issue in her State of the State speech earlier this […]

Employees and their children pose for a photo in front of a Pioneer Bank & Trust branch. The company offers each of its employees $5,000 to pay for licensed child care. (Courtesy of Pioneer Bank & Trust)

How South Dakotans are making child care affordable and available

BY: - December 14, 2022

South Dakota has a tight labor market. It’s even tighter as parents struggle to find available and affordable child care. To bolster recruitment and retention among parents, some employers and organizations are taking matters into their own hands. One major employer in Rapid City has a day care center in-house, and a contract with a […]

Gov. Kristi Noem presents her fiscal year 2024 budget proposal to legislators on Dec. 6, 2022, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Child care is a major workforce concern. Why wasn’t it in Gov. Noem’s budget address?

BY: and - December 14, 2022

Child care is one of South Dakota’s most pressing workforce issues, with cities, businesses and organizations searching for solutions to keep child care accessible and affordable across the state. Gov. Kristi Noem addressed it as such on the campaign trail, but it did not appear in her Dec. 6 budget address to the Legislature, in […]

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‘Workforce behind the workforce’: Businesses, organizations tackle child care in new program

BY: - November 14, 2022

The child care crisis is, above all else, a workforce crisis in South Dakota. Gov. Kristi Noem addressed it as such on the campaign trail, and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Tenhaken says its one of the most common issues presented to him in recent years.  But it hasn’t been treated as a “crisis” by businesses […]