Child Care Aware of North Dakota offers parents resources to connect with providers

With the ongoing child care crisis, it can be tough for parents to find a good provider, if they can find one at all.
(Hilo Keiki Cares)
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 8:49 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2023 at 2:15 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - In the past month, at least three child care providers in the Valley have been charged with abuse, neglect and even a case of murder out in Carrington.

With the ongoing child care crisis, it can be tough for parents to find a good provider, if they can find one at all.

“I think trusting your gut with how you feel is ok, and investigating that,” Brittany Kind with Child Care Aware of North Dakota said. “It might be nothing, but it really could be something.”

Kind said parents are struggling to find providers because there aren’t many. Child care offers low pay with little to no benefits, and it’s a lot of work.

“We’re able to help parents tailor and find programs that fit the hours of the day they need care, the locations they’re looking in and we can help them find providers that are licensed,” Kind added.

Child Care Aware helps parents find a good fit. They offer resources like a checklist with questions to ask during tours of programs.

“Parents don’t know what they don’t know,” she said. “If we can at least arm them with some questions and things to look for, it’s going to help guide them in their search.”

Providers do not need a license in North Dakota. Providers without a license do have a limit on the number of kids they can care for. Unlicensed providers can only care for five or less kids, and that number includes their own children.

However, it’s important for parents to know that those who have one go through background checks, inspections and training.

Kind said if parents have concerns, they should talk to their provider or reach out to a licensing specialist in the area.

“They will make sure that whatever needs to be followed is being followed,” she said. “They will get CPS involved if that needs to happen and there is follow up to that.”

Kind added parents should always go with their gut.

“Does my child seem happy in the program? Do they come home really sad or down?” Kind said. “Do they never want to leave when you’re dropping them off?”

Child Care Aware has several tools for parents seeking a provider, here’s a link to those resources.