Addressing Child Care in Big Stone County
It has been exciting to see the work in progress, here in Big Stone County (the MNbump!), to expand and strengthen child care!
The Big Stone County Commissioners recently finalized their new Child Care Provider Grant program which is processed through BSC Family Services. These funds are available to both new and existing providers with applications being accepted through December 31, 2022. A few highlights of this program –
Childcare Start-up Grant – New Providers: Family Provider maximum $15,000 grant & Childcare Centers maximum $20,000 grant
Childcare Upgrade Grant – Existing Providers: Family Providers maximum $10,000 grant & Childcare Centers maximum $15,000 grant
You can find more information and the application on the County’s website: LINK: Child Care Provider Grant
And, I just attended the June 14th Child Care Town Hall meeting in Ortonville. The Ortonville School initiated the Rural Child Care Innovation Program application through First Children’s Finance and then reached out to the Ortonville EDA for assistance. The First Children’s Finance Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP) is an innovative community engagement process designed to increase the supply of high-quality affordable child care in rural communities. The purpose of RCCIP is to guide communities in identifying the scope and size of their child care challenges and to empower and support communities to develop solutions to address these challenges. To find more information on the program: LINK to RCCIP Info.
The Town Hall… what an interesting evening! There was a very engaged group of area residents representing our child care providers, businesses, school, healthcare, county, and parents! The new Ortonville School Superintendent, Kris Evje, doesn’t even start his new position until July – nice to see him already engaging at the Town Hall! It was also great to see all three of the Ortonville County Commissioners (Roger Sandberg, David Klages & Brent Olson) – they have just finished up the County’s new childcare grant program and they are now on to assist in the City of Ortonville’s process. Jessica of First Children’s Finance presented brief information on the RCCIP program and then went into our local survey results – noting that Ortonville had more parent surveys submitted than even Grand Forks – considering our population difference, that really emphasized the commitment of our parents here in Ortonville! Through this process, there was a Provider Appreciation event that was held a couple of weeks ago. During this dinner, providers were able to share their thoughts and suggestions for strengthening child care in the area – and it was great to see them attend the Town Hall and continue to engage in shaping the future of child care here in Ortonville.
I am closing with this quote from Rachel Berdan who is one of the young parents that attended the Town Hall meeting – “It was such a great meeting. I am excited for the future of our community!”
For links/connections to youth-related topics (find child care, the programs mentioned above, etc.) – check out this link on our website: All About Youth
A few photos from the Ortonville Child Care Town Hall meeting –