During the pandemic, the shortage of childcare could be seen and felt across the state.
Through a survey done by Child Care Aware of North Dakota, 60 percent of those who responded were essential workers in the ongoing pandemic and their childcare was affected in one way or another — whether it was people losing their jobs causing them to withdraw their kids from daycare or temporary shutdowns due to the pandemic.
Childcare services had to modify their operating procedures which affected the amount of space available.
And the state was quick to recognize the need.
“North Dakota did offer the child care emergency operating grant. Over 75 percent of child care programs participated at some point during that grant availability. It started I think the first payments went out mid-April and it continued through December. And we know that helped to offset the losses,” explained Kay Larson, the Team Lead for Child Care Aware of North Dakota.
Larson says early childcare not only supports families but also the development of children.