My husband and I farm and raise our young family in rural Anamoose, North Dakota. As parents of a one-year-old little girl, we relate very closely to the child care crisis facing so many more families across the state.

The North Dakota KIDS COUNT Child Care Access Report found that “in 2020, North Dakota experienced a net loss of 60 licensed child care providers and 381 slots, further limiting access to licensed child care during and after the pandemic.” What are families to do? We need accessible, affordable and quality child care.

Our community of Anamoose got creative and resourceful, opening a child care center in our public school building six years ago. Now, nearly 20 children are lovingly cared for in the child care center. We recognize that every community may not be able to do this. If we lost this facility, parents would need to quit their jobs. They would be out of the workforce.

Less than 2% of the Gov. Doug Burgum’s Accelerate ND proposal focuses on child care. That is not enough. Working families need significant investments to fix the child care crisis in our state. Now is the time to invest in child care and build a system that works for parents, child care providers and moves North Dakota’s economy forward.

Amanda Martin is a resident of Anamoose, N.D.

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This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.