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DSS provides support to child care programs





For Immediate Release:  Wednesday, August 18, 2020
Media Contact: Steve Long, steve.long@state.sd.us or 605.773.5465

DSS provides support to child care programs

PIERRE – The Department of Social Services (DSS) has awarded more than $3 million to child care providers so far in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of ongoing efforts to support South Dakota families.

In May, DSS began awarding funding to DSS-regulated child care programs to help families keep access to these services. Funds assist providers with ongoing costs and new pandemic-related expenses.

“Our child care providers have helped keep South Dakota’s economy and health on track by allowing parents, including health care and other front line workers, to continue working,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, their dedication to caring for our families and communities has been inspiring.”

DSS received CARES Act funding to support child care programs and the families they serve. Payments to providers were based on program size, efforts made to assist families, and account for children absent from program attendance. The Department will be examining additional ways to utilize the remaining funds to support child care providers and the families that rely on them.

“Without the assistance we received, we would not be in business anymore,” said Marianne Freng, owner and director of M&M Day Care in Huron. “You have no idea what a godsend that ‘helping hand’ means. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

In addition to the grant awards, DSS has assisted child care providers with regulatory flexibility, pandemic-related guidance, and technical assistance to keep facilities operating while ensuring health and safety for families and staff.

“We have worked hand-in-hand with our child care providers in South Dakota to help sustain them during these difficult and uncertain times,” said Gill. “Our Child Care Services staff have been in regular contact with providers and have helped facilitate placement for families that needed care. DSS remains committed to serving this important industry that is so crucial to South Dakota families.”

To learn more about child care services provided by DSS, please click on the Child Care tab at dss.sd.gov.