Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.E-mail: email@example.com
A shortage of affordable child care can often slow economic growth and development. Faced with a major shortage in localities throughout the western half of the state where oil has spurred huge growth, North Dakota has opted to create a pilot program to address the problem. The Grand Forks Herald reports that the Board of University and School Lands has set aside $500,000 of it's energy impact grant funding to create the child care facilities necessary to keep pace with the number of families relocating to oil producing areas. Cities and local governments located in the designated areas that properly demonstrate need will be allowed to apply for a share of the funds up to $125,000. Once received, the monies can be used to buy modular child care facilities to be operated by businesses or non-profits. Alternatively, the funds can be used towards expanding current public child care facilities or building new ones within the communities. Due to the urgent need of these facilities, the board will begin reviewing grant applications next month.