Local stakeholders prepared to tackle Watertown’s childcare shortage  (Audio)

April 30, 2024
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Watertown Mayor Ried Holien calls it a, “daunting task,” but one the city is willing to be a partner in taking on.

The task is a child care shortage in Watertown. Folks in the industry refer to it as a, “crisis.” Essentially, too many kids needing placement in a child care facility so mom and or dad can go to work, but no room in daycare facilities to place them in.

On Monday, a team of officials that included the mayor, Sister Barb Younger of Harmony Hill, and Watertown Development Company Executive Director Chris Clifton discussed at City Hall how they plan to attack the issue.

It starts with phase one, which Younger says involves converting 14,000 square feet of underutiilized space at Harmony Hill so Little Blessings Daycare can relocate there…..

Clifton says having reliable daycare will be an economic driver for Watertown….

Mayor Ried Holien says it was an easy decision for the city to be a partner in this effort…

Businesses will be contacted and asked to support Watertown’s childcare crisis with a financial contribution.

Younger says renovating the 14,000 square feet at Harmony Hill will cost in the neighborhood of two million dollars.

More details on the fundraising campaign will be announced May 15th at an event at Lake Area Technical College.