22 Feb BCDC Releases Childcare Provider Matching Program
Childcare shortages continue to be a rising concern not only in Bowman County, but across North Dakota. Offering affordable, quality childcare is a complex challenge ranging from high operational costs to workforce shortages. Childcare shortages directly impact workforce as well as the long-term sustainability of a community’s economic development. More parents are choosing to stay home and leave or not enter the workforce due to lack of childcare availability and rising costs. Many area employers are reporting staff leaving daily or unable to come to work due to no childcare.
According to the 2020 Census, Bowman County has 207 children under the age of five, and 289 children between the ages of five and nine. Bowman County has seven licensed childcare facilities with a capacity for 159 children; however, some facilities operate under capacity due to the inability to staff for higher volumes. A recent check reported no openings in licensed facilities for 0–18-month-olds. This age group requires a lower child-to-adult ratio, and therefore is more costly. There is also a great need for after school childcare.
Bowman County Development Corporation released the Childcare Provider Matching Program to try to incentivize new in-home group facilities or increased capacity in existing facilities. This program is funded through BCDC’s Growth Fund. We are looking into our second available short-term consideration in helping with staffing retention and hiring in existing facilities.
The apparent childcare shortage is complex, without one, defined solution and will require a wide range of solutions. It will involve conversations with key partners including county and city leaders and private sector employers as well as finding ways to incentivize workforce specifically in this industry. We know that results will only come through a combination of strategies.
If you or someone you know would be willing to consider opening a childcare facility, our office would be happy to assist. For more information on the Childcare Provider Matching Program please visit bowmannd.com/economic-development/financial-incentives/or call Teran Doerr at 701.523.5880.
About BCDC’s Growth Fund
In 2021, BCDC made a capital transfer into a fund that will be dedicated to diversifying the local economy, supporting small businesses, recruiting and retaining workforce, creating and maintaining jobs, and expanding the local tax base.
Teran Doerr, Executive Director
Bowman County Development Corporation
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