• Brass-Tacks
  • Childcare Bills - Quick overview

    Childcare Bills - Quick overview

    Dear Childcare.... how do we love thee? Let us count the ways.

    Valentine’s Day has got us thinking about things that we can really get behind and support, and efforts to fortify our childcare system in North Dakota is something that is an issue of concern to our members. We know the childcare industry is the subsect of workforce that enables all other workforces. We have the data to prove the need: 73% of the 44,237 North Dakota households who have children younger than age 5 likely have at least some need for childcare as all available parents are in the workforce.
    During our policy development process, this was a topic that continually came to the forefront.  We went into this session knowing we wanted some change. GNDC Policy Position Statement: Encourage solutions that enhance childcare availability and out of school time programming that do not increase costs to businesses.

    Let’s breakdown the bills specific to childcare – all active bills are currently on the Senate side and mostly sponsored by Minority Leader Kathy Hogan. Sen Hogan has a firm belief that policy should come from the legislators and created this multi-prong approach toward solutions specific to access, affordability, and quality.
    SB 2190: Childcare Assistance Program

    • $13.259M
    • Targeted to serve low-income families, utilizing CCAP

    SB 2237: Tax Credit
    • Passed Senate floor (33-14), currently with Senate appropriations
    • $9.9M
    • Provides a tax credit for working families whose income does not exceed $120K.
    • Only 29 other states have this targeted relief
    • GNDC’s concern: The legislature is planning on passing a tax relief package that will impact this earning group/bracket. The details are still being worked out but with this relief, is this secondary tax credit going to be meaningful to this audience?

    SB 2238: Background checks/Fingerprinting
    • $1.539M
    • Targeted to address the finger-printing issue/backlog that is bottlenecking hiring practices and has disastrous impacts on this industry.
    • GNDC listened to the initial hearing: We liked that Senator Lee wanted to shift this from a study to some much-needed action to improve hiring practices.

    SB 2301: Childcare Stabilization Program
    • $36M
    • Childcare stabilization program – create direct subsidies to childcare providers
    • Model was previously deployed during COVID to support this industry. This bill cements the program into the future and would support this industry’s workforce. The bill also examines daycare conditions ensuring quality places with good standing.
    • GNDC's concern: We would like to see a reporting mechanism built in for greater accountability.

    SB 2323: Program expansion for accessibility
    • $20M
    • Provides expansion and enhancements in specific early childhood care programs (Best in Class, Headstart) to address the waiting lists to increase access 

    SB 2012 is also out there. This is the appropriation bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. A breakdown on the specifics of the childcare components are below. We have been vocal of our support and have publicly stood up with Governor Burgum to acknowledge that the time is now to do things.

    These bills all have big price tags but the important things usually do. Sen. Hogan’s five-pack comes in around $80M while the package outlined in SB 2012 is comparable at $73M.