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Published June 14, 2012, 09:27 AM

Program Targets ND Oil Patch Child Care Crunch

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's land board has approved $500,000 for a pilot program to boost the number of child care facilities in the oil patch.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's land board has approved $500,000 for a pilot program to boost the number of child care facilities in the oil patch.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple proposed the cost-share grant program to address a shortage of day cares that has resulted from the influx of people from around the country to western North Dakota. Dickinson City Administrator Shawn Kessel and Williston Mayor Ward Koeser endorsed the idea.

A fall survey by the North Dakota Child Care Resource and Referral agency found that the counties that include the oil patch cities have a licensed day care capacity of about 1,300 children while there are about 2,800 children potentially in need of care.

"Rapid growth in our oil-producing counties has created a growing need for child care services at a time when rising property values are making it more difficult to establish these facilities," said Dalrymple, chairman of the Board of University and School Lands that oversees "energy impact" money. "This pilot program was created to address the region's unique challenges in providing much-needed child care services."

The grants can be used to expand, buy or build publicly owned child care facilities, Dalrymple's office said. Grants to communities cannot exceed $125,000. Cities can use their own money or seek private donations to cover the local share of the cost.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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