Daycare Bill - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Daycare Bill

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Prior to this legislative session... Meetings across the state revealed childcare was the top priority of North Dakotans.

 

Yet several lawmakers and those in the childcare sector say lawmakers are not listening...

House Bill 1422 was designed to stabilize childcare operations and to recruit and retain providers.

It also included funds earmarked for special needs.

The bill started with $15 million in funding, and is now at $2.6 million.

Today lawmakers and those in the childcare industry asked the Senate Appropriations to restore some funding, to include at least $6 million.

Representative Kathy Hawken says lawmakers have to step up and help with the childcare challenges.

She says there are not enough facilities to meet the needs, especially in western North Dakota.

"For some reason, we can subsidize operations in other areas, we do it in nursing homes, we do it for business start ups, renaissance zones. We do it for a number of things, but for some reason, we can not get over the thought of doing it for childcare," says Fargo republican Rep. Kathy Hawken.

The Senate Appropriations is also reviewing a bill for the state to fund pre-k.

The bill is for $2.6 million in grants to schools for starting early childhood education programs.

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