South Dakota’s childcare crisis, an inch closer to a solution

Listening to America: Childcare
Listening to America: Childcare(DC Bureau)
Updated: Nov. 25, 2022 at 9:53 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A South Dakota childcare advocacy organization has partnered with national and local organizations to grow its impact.

Early Learner South Dakota focuses on awareness for childcare in early learners, which they categorize as prenatal to 8 years old. Recently the grassroots organization has partnered with other organizations to launch the South Dakota Child Care Business Collaborative. An effort to help more parents find childcare so they can work.

“Because businesses were seeing that childcare was really impacting their workforce. And many of the families were either unable to get into the workforce because, they could not find childcare, or they chose to stay at home; because again they couldn’t find it or it was getting too expensive, or maybe it was unreliable care,” explains Kayla Klein, Director of Early Learner South Dakota.

Klein says South Dakota loses nearly $146 million annually because childcare interferes with people working. The collaborative will meet in Rapid City in December to talk about the landscape of early childhood in South Dakota and share examples of solutions businesses have created to break the barriers between childcare and employment. Plus have a conversation on creating a sustainable childcare business model.

The South Dakota Child Care Business Collaborative is an effort by Early Learner South Dakota, Bipartisan Policy Center, United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Elevate Rapid City, The Greater Sioux Falls Area of Commerce, and the John T. Vucurevich Foundation.