Community childcare initiative aims to help parents with childcare crisis

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 9:43 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative, Mayor Paul Tenhaken and other industry representatives met tonight to announce a new initiative.

The short-term Community Childcare Initiative is the result of a yearlong advocacy campaign by members of the Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative.

Organizations in the area are hoping to solve various issues those in the community face when it comes to childcare.

Many say this is long overdue.

Sioux Falls Thrive saying some of the largest concerns have arisen over cost and accessibility.

“We need to have kids in childcare and the other side of that is that parents need to be able to afford childcare. Those are the two big issues for us in Sioux Falls are that it’s not affordable and that it’s not available in a lot of cases,” said Michelle Erpenbach, Sioux Falls Thrive president.

Kerri Tietgen, CEO at EmBe says it’s prevalent in the community.

“If an expecting mother comes, you need to put your name on a list today to hopefully have a space for your child a year from now,” said Kerri Tietgen, EmBe CEO.

This not only impacts parents and families, but also employers throughout the city.

“It’s taking both men and women out of the workforce if they don’t have quality care for their children,” said Tietgen.

Tonight, childcare providers, organizations leaders, city members, and business owners gathered to discuss solutions and potential opportunities.

Rana DeBoer and Nicole Fluth are the leaders of the new initiative

“This collaborative team is really going to lead that effort towards one, putting a sense of urgency around the childcare crisis, it is a crisis, the community needs to understand that. Two, we really want to talk about what are the things, what are the best practices already out there, how can we make those things happen in Sioux Falls,” said Erpenbach.

Those at the event tonight say they are excited to get the ball rolling and help the childcare crisis in the city.