Town Hall meeting held in Watertown to discuss child care issues  (Audio)

May 16, 2024

Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A town hall meeting on Watertown’s daycare shortage was held last night at Lake Area Technical College.

Beyond the shortage of facilities, there was also discussion on the affordability, or lack thereof, of child care.

One of the ways the shortage will be addressed is the previously announced plan to expand and relocate Little Blessings Daycare into unused space at Harmony Hill.

Another component announced last night by Lake Area President Tiffany Sanderson is to expand LATC’s Educare facility at the former Garfield Elementary School.

Sanderson talked with KWAT News about that…

The cost of the remodel will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 million. I asked Sanderson how they’ll raise that money….

Also at last night’s Town Hall meeting, Audrey Rider, an Early Childhood Field Specialist with SDSU Extension, announced that Watertown has been named an “Early Learner Community”…..

You can learn more by clicking here: https://www.watertownchildcare.org/

Meanwhile,  the state of Minnesota is awarding more than six million dollars in grants to expand child care across the state.

Governor Tim Walz says the funding is expected to increase childcare program capacity by over 2,200 slots in Minnesota.

Walz says the grants will increase access to child care and help more Minnesotans enter the workforce, growing the labor force and economy.

The grants are going to 21 organizations across the state, 15 of which are in greater Minnesota.