New day care loan program looks to tackle child care shortage in Moorhead – InForum


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MOORHEAD — An overworked child care system could soon receive a boost in the form of a new day care loan program available through Gate City Bank.

Local child care providers have reported an

inability to keep pace with demand due to ongoing staffing shortages

, while Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber panelists say the

lack of affordable child care in the area has negative economic consequences

.

With

options shrinking for parents

, local efforts to find solutions have been ongoing.

Any day care provider may apply for the new day care loan program through Gate City Bank, an idea pitched by Gate City Bank’s Shawn Gruenberg as one solution to the child care crisis Moorhead is facing.

A resolution crafted by a group of leaders within the bank, they anticipate the action will increase the availability of child care in Moorhead, positively impact the workforce and provide children with a stronger foundation of early childhood education.

All licensed day care providers will be eligible for the loan, Gate City Bank representatives told Moorhead City Council on Monday, Jan. 9.

Funding will allow providers to serve more children by adding additional team members, purchase necessary equipment, cover facility updates and provide business education to support sustainable businesses.

Gruenberg said this new project began after collaboration between bank president Kevin Hanson and Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson.

The two were “challenged to look at opportunities for solutions with the crazy crisis that everybody deals with in child care,” Gruenberg said Monday.

“It’s incredible to me how many people are talking about how (child care) is a crisis and it’s an economic development issue,” Carlson said.

Supporting those who are already providing child care in the community is the best way that Gate City Bank can help mitigate this problem, Gruenberg added.

The problem hits close to home, according to Ashley Simmons with Gate City Bank, because the whole team behind the project consists of parents that face many of the same child care issues.

“You spent a lot of time doing this and I know that you’re going to help so many child care facilities and in home day cares to really help create an assistance program for this crisis,” Carlson said.

Day cares can reach out to the bank and submit an application for the low interest day care loan program, Gate City reports.

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