Governor Noem’s budget address reads into daycare needs

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 6:48 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Tuesday, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem went over her budget address.

She says she’d like to funnel 100-million-dollars of the federal funds being received into helping daycare needs in the state.

“We have to be responsible to prepare for the future,” says Noem. “Those targeted investments into specific jobs that we need to have filled are incredibly important that we do that to make sure we’re taking care of people.”

Jessica Castleberry, South Dakota’s District 35 Senator, is on the same page.

“South Dakota has one of the highest rates of both parents working outside of the home,” says Castleberry.

Senator Castleberry also owns Rapid City’s and Rapid Valley’s Little Nest Preschool, and she agrees with Governor Noem’s plan to allocate funds to daycare needs.

“One of the best things about it is that there isn’t an early learning environment that’s left out,” Castleberry says.

She says it will apply to all kinds of daycares. Whether that be in home, or businesses looking to add daycare services, or those who would even want to start a new business.

Governor Noem says her budget hopes to address the individual, “and I’m encouraging the legislature through my budget to invest in the workforce.”

“That’s something that’s going to not only provide valuable education to the people working in childcare facilities,” adds Castleberry, “but also helps alleviate some of the burden on businesses to pay for education for staff.”

Senator Castleberry says another benefit is that the funding doesn’t need the investment of more tax dollars and that it will only encourage more people to get involved.

“Having more early learning opportunities is only going to help young families. It’s going to help our employers,” says Castlberry, “and it also helps drive the market. Competition is a good thing, and it helps to create accountability for the quality of care and services that we are offering.”

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