Childcare is another major challenge for South Dakota’s workforce, as many parents would gladly rejoin the workforce if they could find available childcare options for their kids. Governor Noem is tackling this issue head on.
Governor Noem included $100 million in funding for childcare programs across the state of South Dakota this year. $35 million in childcare grants went to 676 child care providers across the state at the beginning of the year. Over the summer, an additional $25 million was provided for their expenses.
Governor Noem is taking feedback on how best to use the remaining $38 million from child care providers, child advocacy organizations, parents, and communities. These funds could go toward start-up costs for new facilities, assisting businesses with developing on-site childcare programs, workforce recruitment studies, and more. DSS will develop a plan for these funds based on input from these listening sessions.
Governor Noem is also streamlining the licensing system to make it easier for a facility to become licensed. Once a facility has become licensed, they are eligible for grant dollars, as well. She is cutting red tape and restrictions while ensuring that kids are still being taken care of.