Published April 2, 2024

Childcare and the City

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan

Council Hears from Committee

MINOT – The availability and cost of childcare took up much of the discussion during Monday’s meeting of the City Council.

Council member Scott Burlingame, co-chair of a committee appointed to report recommendations to the council, told the council that “the city has limited tools and limited resources, but that doesn’t mean we should do nothing.”

Council member Lisa Olson added, “I think we do have a role here and can take a lead. It is impeding the growth of Minot because there is no childcare. It drives a lot of economic issues.”

The dilemma is two-fold. Space for childcare has become increasingly expensive which, in turn, is cited as a reason for keeping childcare workers' wages low. Burlingame’s committee has been looking into ways to reduce costs for daycare space.

“Where do we go from here,” asked Councilman Paul Pitner. “What’s next?”

City Manager Harold Stewart called the space and staffing situation a “chicken or egg issue.”

City Manager Harold Stewart (Photo: submitted)

“My opinion is first to find a solution to the daycare workforce,” said Stewart. “We can create space as much as we want but we have to have the staff to support it.”

Mayor Tom Ross asked that Burlingame come back to council with some actionable items on daycare.

Also on Monday’s agenda was a report from the ETC Institute, a Kansas City area firm that conducted market research in Minot through a survey consisting of 454 respondents. The biggest issue of concern, 80%, was high taxes. Housing affordability was also listed as a top issue.

The survey concluded Minot was a good place to raise children. Overall satisfaction with the city was down from the last survey conducted in 2021, reflecting a trend found in other communities in the United States.

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