The Northwest Minnesota Foundation began working in 2017 with the community of Hallock to discuss potential ways to increase the availability of child care slots. The Grace Lutheran Church, through its church council, stepped forward and offered its space to create a child care center.
This week, Missy Okeson, NMF’s child care program officer, was able to tour and see the results. The center is expected to be full in September, with 10 preschoolers, 7 toddlers, and 8 infants.
Hallock’s difficulties were not unlike those throughout the rest of our 12-county region. Communities across Northwest Minnesota are experiencing a child care availability crisis that is impacting businesses and employers, children and families and community prosperity.
Okeson, through partnerships with governmental agencies, businesses, and nonprofits, leads and supports collaborative efforts in communities to find innovative, sustainable solutions to help solve their unique child care needs. NMF incentivizes child care providers to improve the quality of their care and embrace the Parent Aware rating system.
NMF currently is accepting applications for its Child Care Solutions grant, a funding opportunity that will provide up to $22,500 per award to communities working through a taskforce to develop quality, sustainable child care solutions for their area. Eligible applicants include governmental, nonprofit or for-profit groups.
Learn more about this grant opportunity here.