Partnership group to support childcare business owners through state grant

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

A partnership group that consists of several local organizations has received more than $284,000 through the Community Based Childcare Grant Program from the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which could open hundreds of childcare spots in the community.

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash


The implementation grant was sought by the group that includes Startup Sioux Falls, Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of South Dakota, Helpline Center, Sioux Falls Thrive/Childcare Collaborative, City of Sioux Falls, and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Much of the funds will support programs through Startup Sioux Falls and LSS aimed at increasing the number of childcare business owners in the community.

“We are thrilled to partner with several community organizations to provide business training support to aspiring in-home childcare business owners. Through this program, we hope to contribute in a small way to the complex challenge of childcare in the Sioux Falls community,” said Sara Lum, vice president of Startup Sioux Falls.

Beginning in June, Startup Sioux Falls will host a CO.STARTERS Care Bootcamp and CO.STARTERS Care Business Program to aspiring childcare entrepreneurs. The two-day weekend bootcamp and the 10-week, cohort-based program are designed to help those interested in starting their own childcare business. These programs will help prospective childcare business owners successfully develop business plans to sustain quality state-licensed childcare in their homes or other suitable locations. The business programs are for someone thinking about starting a childcare business, a new childcare business owner, or even someone who has been running a small business and just wants to learn more.

Part of the funds from the implementation grant will also support training courses at LSS in childcare and entrepreneurship for multilingual learners of English, the latter in partnership Startup Sioux Falls.

“LSS is excited to be a partner in this project. This grant will both enhance and increase access to existing education and training offerings at the LSS Center for New Americans, serving more than 600 adult English Learners annually. Through collaboration with community partners, LSS has expanded its Introduction to Childcare curriculum to integrate all necessary content for safety and licensure,” said Laura Smith-Hill, education services supervisor with LSS.

Two cohorts facilitated by LSS began their coursework May 1st with 45 participants enrolled. The two groups will also participate in a multilingual business accelerator training, in collaboration with Startup Sioux Falls. The program has had interest and input from 75 multilingual community members from 14 countries and has the potential to support the opening and expansion of up to 50 family-based daycares that will serve families both new and native to South Dakota.

It’s projected this partnership with Startup Sioux Falls and LSS and the programs offered could create up to 91 new, state-licensed, one-person childcare operations and more than 1,000 new childcare openings or slots.

“We are grateful to the State of South Dakota for supporting our group’s efforts through the implementation grant,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Addressing the childcare challenges requires many different strategies coming together in a collaborative effort, and these programs through Startup Sioux Falls and LSS are one viable solution to make an impact. We hope using funds for an initiative like this will give more entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain the necessary tools to start a business while easing some of the challenges in this industry.”

Those interested in applying for the childcare business programs through Startup Sioux Falls can apply online at Multilingual learners of English can call LSS at 605-731-2000 or by text at 605-403-7813 to get involved.

The May 6th Press Conference Recording can be found here.