Posted 7/03/19 (Wed)
By Betsy Ryan
Farmer Staff Writer
“The other day, a mom told me that she was going to have to send her five-year-old home from school on the bus to an empty house,” said Tessa Moberg, Wolf Pup Daycare director to McKenzie County commissioners on Tuesday, June 18.
Calling daycare a critical need in the county, Commissioner Gene Veeder urged his fellow commissioners to make room in the county budget for a proposed before and after school program. Program representatives asked commissioners for $300,000 for 2019 and the same amount for 2020. Commissioners asked Terry Moe and Tessa Moberg to make their presentation for the Job Development Authority (JDA) and then return to the commissioners for a decision.
All of the commissioners agreed that daycare is a critical need in McKenzie County at the moment, and will only get worse.
With only five licensed daycares in the county, all of which are operating at or above capacity, workers are flocking to the county for jobs only to hit a brick wall when it comes to finding daycare for their children.
To close the gap of the limited child care options, many people are managing small at-home daycare operations out of their homes. These people, however, are not approved by the state and so do not have background checks, CPR training and other oversight ensuring quality of care.
“There is approximately 300 babies projected to be born to county residents in 2019 and even more in 2020,” said Moe, director of public relations and marketing at the Rough Rider Center. “Who is going to take care of them?”
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