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Official says aid for childcare could help build the state’s workforce

Nicole Xu

The attached audio is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment.

A leading business official says government aid for childcare centers could help build the state’s workforce.

Governor Kristi Noem is using 100 million dollars of federal COVID-19 relief money for childcare providers. Her administration is offering grants to help cover costs of opening and running a daycare.

David Owen is the president of the South Dakota State Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He says more and better childcare options are good for employers who need workers.

“If that's only going to bring 1000 or so people into the workforce it's probably not worth the investment. On the other hand, we have some indication through Kids Count and other sources that that could bring 5, 6, 7 thousand people in the workforce.”

The grants for childcare providers are available now through the state Department of Social Services.