ND Legislature Passes Childcare Bill - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

ND Legislature Passes Childcare Bill

Bismarck, ND -

The North Dakota legislature has given it's approval to a bill that helps the childcare industry in the state.

The lack of day cares and the affordability of childcare were listed as a top concern of North Dakotan's prior to the legislative session.

House Bill 1422 started with $15 million and is now a $4 million investment in childcare issues.

The bill addresses training and recruitment of providers.

It includes $1 million in grants for childcare facilities and $300 thousand for special needs childcare.

The bill raises the income eligibility for childcare assistance.

Representative Kathy Hawken says the assistance will help more families afford daycare and help centers' bottom line.

"We had a number of centers who were on the verge of closing. Because they have a reliable source of income, these parents that are getting this help, they will not have to close their doors. They will be able to charge a rate for those who can afford it, that allows them to provide good quality daycare. It is a really good way to solve this problem for all those concerned," says Representative Hawken.

The bill also eases some requirements.

It expands the number of kids allowed in a center from 18 to 30.

Indoor play spaces can be used instead of outdoor play areas.

And businesses that provide on-site childcare are exempt from being licensed.

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