Prairie Action ND

Lack of Child Care in Rural Communities is Hurting Children in Need of Foster Homes

By: Lindsey Wilkinson
October 16, 2021

I am a mom and a union steelworker building Bobcats in southeast North Dakota, where my husband, Will, also works and we are both active in our union and community. In addition to raising our own kids, last year we opened our home to fostering kids. This has been a really exciting and rewarding role to play in our community. However, we have run into a problem with finding adequate day care. Recently we had to turn away two kids, a pair of siblings, because there was no day care in our area. We checked from Rutland to Milnor to Gwinner. No luck. This is something we care deeply about and having to turn kids away is really difficult.

Before my youngest child started school, my day care closed down. Since finding full time child care was tougher than we had expected, I had to switch shifts to work weekends while my husband worked the weekday shifts. Now that all my kids are in school I’m back working during the week and we get a little bit more family time together. However, that still doesn’t fix the issue with lack of child care for foster families like ours, or the many families with babies and toddlers looking for child care in our part of the state.

Working families in North Dakota need high-quality, affordable and available child care. We need state leaders to come together and figure this problem out, and quickly.

Lindsey Wilkinson
Cayuga, ND

As submitted to Prairie Action ND