Williston Addressing Childcare needs


The Bakken is a gold mine when it comes to job opportunities. As families settle in, the baby population is booming and the city of Williston plans to increase its childcare services in order to keep up. 

Last Tuesday during Williston’s weekly city council meeting, it was addressed that there weren’t enough childcare facilities to accommodate their fastly growing community of children. 

“We’re seeing a demand of about 4,000 kids needing childcare in Williams County. We have a licensed capacity of about 823,” Williston Economic Development Executive Director Shawn Wenko said.

As a way to bandage the situation, the STAR Fund, which is the city’s development budget, will fund the Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Williston up to $400,000 to renovate its basement.

“We have space that doesn’t normally get utilized throughout the week and so our council and congregation thought about that and I think when the opportunity came up to share space with our community, we thought that’d be a good idea,” Light of Christ Lutheran Church Pastor Scott Neumann said.

The renovation will help accommodate 70 kids.

Discussions with Williston State College and Lutheran Social Services are also in the works as well, but they haven’t jumped on board yet. If they do, the combined spaces could accommodate up to 100 kids.

“We want to address this need right away. We want to look at projects that we can get off the ground fairly quickly and add capacity to the market,” Wenko said.

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