Coalition calls for innovative solutions and stronger investments to support child care providers who struggle to recruit and retain workers.
The North Dakota Child Care Action Alliance (NDCAA) responds to Governor Burgum’s Child Care Proposal. NDCCAA is a statewide grassroots coalition working together to fully understand the impact of access to affordable, quality child care for working families. The focus of the NDCCAA is on long-term solutions that balance the needs of families, child care workers, providers and local business.
Erin Laverdure, North Dakota Child Care Action Alliance: “The Governor’s proposal shines a spotlight on the dilemma parents, providers and communities are facing when it comes to access to child care. But, as a child care provider, I see it’s missing the centerpiece to the solution. Child care is a labor issue that is unique in that it affects all other workforces. And, like other businesses, child care providers struggle to recruit and retain workers. Child care workers are essential and deserve wages that reflect the challenging work of caring for young children. A better child care system is in reach for North Dakota and it requires a more comprehensive approach than what the Governor presented.”
Nick Archuleta, North Dakota United President: “The Child Care proposal released by the Governor today is a step in the right direction. We can agree there is no higher priority in North Dakota right now than fixing the child care crisis. However, we believe the approach must be three-pronged focusing on families, businesses and workers. The Governor's proposal is missing an essential component. It fails to address the child care workforce shortfall. The median wage across North Dakota for a child care worker is $11.19 per hour, barely hovering above poverty level for a family of three. We must strive to professionalize the childcare workforce and that means we must provide more competitive salaries to those caring for our children. Our failure to do so will only exacerbate the childcare shortage and cause families and businesses to continue to struggle.”
Josh Kramer, North Dakota Association of Rural Electrical Cooperatives: “The Governor’s proposal is a step forward in working towards sustainable child care. The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives stands ready to go further to ensure our rural communities are able to access quality, affordable child care. We hear from families who are traveling 80 miles roundtrip to bring their children to their child care provider. And, we know that North Dakota’s child care desert requires about 10,000 more child care slots to meet the demand for children ages 0 to 5 with working parents. To staff these additional slots, the state needs at least 1,400 more child care workers. Access to quality child care and child care workers is a need in all areas of the state, including our small towns and rural areas, so attention must also be paid to the geographic distribution of aid or support. Without additional investment to recruit, retain and grow this workforce, our already fractured child care system is not sustainable.”