ARPA Funds Requested for Childcare Facility
3 Aug 2022
The Brookings Economic Development Corporation and the Brookings Early Care & Education Collaborative are leading an effort for a new childcare center in Brookings. The Center would cost $1.5 million and the organizations are seeking $500,000 of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funding. This center would have the capacity for 80 children from newborn to the age of 5.
On July 19th Tim Reed, CEO of the Brookings Economic Development Corporation, and Rachel Busmann of Brookings Early Care & Education Collaborative made the request to the members of the Brookings City Council.
While speaking to the Council Tim Reed commented that there are people that are not in the workforce because they cannot find childcare.
Tim and Rachel provided information to the Council from the Brookings County Strategic Child Care Supply Report to support the need for a new facility with licensed care. The Report shows a shortage of 915 slots for children under the age of five with all parents in the workforce. There are 628 registered and licensed childcare slots with an estimated need of 1,544. The report states that a portion of the need is currently supported through unregistered care, workforce under-employment, and parents working different shifts.
In the 2020 Brookings County Child Care Survey, respondents shared that many families would prefer licensed childcare. In that same survey, respondents stated the concern of not having enough childcare options and available slots.
The proposed childcare facility is looking to fund by the following – $500,000 in city ARPA funds and $1 million from private investments and grants. The total $1.5 million cost estimate would include the land needed.
The proposed facility would be roughly 4,800 square feet, with a roughly 2,000-square-foot playground. With room for expansion in the future. The hope for this facility to be up and running by the fall of 2023.
A final funding decision by the City Council is expected in August