Addressing childcare needs for military families

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 8:41 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - Childcare waiting lists all across Minot have been filling up quickly over the last couple of years.

Those facing some of the hardest challenges are those in our armed forces.

There are currently 134 children on Minot Air Force Base that are on waiting lists and it affects more than 250 airmen.

To fill the void, they need 30 additional facilities as well as further assistance when they are called out on missions.

The real challenge is presented when overnight stays, training weeks and more non-traditional hours are required of both parents in a household.

Childcare advocates say better marketing of resources can help solve the program.

One such solution is the Working Parents Childcare Relief pilot project, launched in March.

It connects employees and employers to a statewide funding option to pay for monthly daycare costs.

Employees can opt-in to match the employer’s contribution, providing up to $600 per month in financial assistance.

“If we’re maybe state activated, that would require us to be gone overnight, I would get in touch with family members, sometimes they’re not always available,” said Sara Clow, mother and Air National Guard member.

State lawmakers also passed the nearly $66 million childcare package. The money will be distributed to North Dakota cities in July.

Leadership at the Minot Area Chamber EDC said help is on the way.

“It’s been very important to us to hear from people it is affecting. Employers, families, our military, and we will be working to work on solutions here in the near future,” said Keli Rosselli-Sullivan, workforce development military liaison with the Minot Area Chamber EDC.

North Dakota has good things coming for not only our service members but working civilians too.

Rosselli-Sullivan said it will just take time.

Supporting working families with HB 1540
Supporting working families with HB 1540(ND Health and Human Services)