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CHILD CARE

North Dakota's needs for emergency shelter spaces for foster children are not new, said Cory Pederson, director of the children and family services division of the state Department of Human Services. Those needs have existed since he began his career in 1995, he said.
The expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) needs to be restored. Research on the spending habits of those who received payments indicates that the money went for necessities, like food and childcare.
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Average wages for child care workers have risen in recent years but decreased from $11.61 to $11.19 an hour from 2020 to 2021, said Zach Packineau, director of outreach and programming for ND Voices Network.
Last month, East Grand Forks held its first town hall meeting on the child care crisis, at which parents and child care providers were able to share their thoughts on East Grand Forks’ perceived issues with the industry. Another meeting was held this week.

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The Minnesota Business Vitality Council says the lack of child care options impacts the state’s employers and workforce.
According to a 2021 study by First Children’s Finance, in northwest Minnesota there is an overall need for new 3,211 child care spots.
Michelle Landsverk, community and economic development director in Fosston, says the Prairie Pines Childcare Center board of directors is working to finish the building, secure licensing and hire staff, with a goal of opening Prairie Pines Childcare Center on May 1.
A new 16,000-square-foot space will up the child care center’s capacity from 138 children to 278, making it among the largest child care centers in Grand Forks.

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