The Dunn County Jobs Development Authority, in partnership with the City of Killdeer, the Hill Top Home of Comfort and the Dunn County Board of County Commissioners, broke ground at the site of its new community child care facility last Wednesday morning, Oct. 10, at the Hill Top Home for Comfort.
BY JENNIFER KOCHER
Dunn County Herald
Posted Oct. 19, 2012
The Dunn County Jobs Development Authority, in partnership with the City of Killdeer, the Hill Top Home of Comfort and the Dunn County Board of County Commissioners, broke ground at the site of its new community child care facility last Wednesday morning, Oct. 10, at the Hill Top Home for Comfort. The new facility is located northwest of the home.
“Child Care, or this case the lack of it, is a workforce issue,” said Carie Boster, Jobs Development Authority (JDA) director. “When we look at the families moving into our communities to work in the energy sector they are young. Young families need child care. After decades of population decline, North Dakota’s population is growing and our demographics are changing. Dunn County isn’t alone. Communities across North Dakota are looking for creative solutions for this workforce issue.”
With this new facility, Dunn County leaders continue to make strides toward solving its daycare shortage, which still remains a looming problem for families in the area. Currently there are only three licensed daycare facilities throughout the entirety of Dunn County, with one in Halliday and two in Killdeer, for a combined total of 34 available slots for children. However, as the economic boom continues to bring more and more new families into Dunn County, daycare remains a problem, further compounding the inequality in supply and demand. According to a 2012 North Dakota Child Care Resource and Referral report, there are currently 129 children in Dunn County between the ages of 0 to 5 and 231 children between the ages of 6 to 12 who are potentially in need of child care, for a combined total of 360 children.
“This project was started last year by a group of parents who sounded the alarm about the need for child care in our area,” said Boster. She said the ensuing partnership was a grassroots effort fueled by a community of volunteers, who together were responsible for spearheading the project.
“The JDA Board of Directors and the Small Business Development Center provided direction,” she said. “The City of Killdeer received a grant from the North Dakota Land Boards, which was part of Governor Dalrymple’s pilot Child Care Grant Program. The County Commission provided its support and the Hill Top Home of Comfort donated land.”
Although Boster is thrilled to see the construction begin on this facility, she acknowledges that the county still has a long way to go with regard to solving its daycare crisis and asks for the community’s support in bringing this project, and others, to fruition. Currently, Boster and others have raised $230,000 of the required $266,000 toward the construction of the facility. The group is seeking donations to help meet the remaining balance of $34,000.
Donations may be made to City of Killdeer or the Dunn County JDA at: P.O. Box 283, Killdeer, ND, 58640. For more information, please contact Killdeer City Manager, Dawn Marquardt at: (701) 764-5295 or Carie Boster at: (701) 764-6092.