Community Initiative Under Leadership of Coordinating Team

Nicole Fluth and Rana DeBoer have been chosen as the coordinating team for the Community Childcare Initiative, a short-term project tasked with finding solutions to the childcare crisis in Sioux Falls.

Fluth and DeBoer bring to the table more than 50 years of combined experience in human development and a sharp understanding of the people, businesses, and leaders in the Sioux Falls community.

childcare collaborative rana nicole

Rana DeBoer and Nicole Fluth

Data shows dramatic gap in affordability, workforce support

Data prepared by EmBe on behalf of the Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative sharpens the focus on the economics of childcare and early childhood education.

Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative Logo

The gap in affordability is as much as $636 million per year, based on the more than 54,000 children who rely on childcare, and considering a potential wage increase to bring childcare workers inline with starting wages in other industries.

While the pandemic revealed the economy’s reliance on childcare workers, it also underscored the industry’s inability to compete for workers without raising the cost of childcare. In South Dakota, parents and providers alone cannot absorb those increases.

The solution to this systemic issue will be multi-faceted and require collaboration across business, non-profit and government sectors.

Where did this data come from? Click here for our Reference Guide and Talking Points.

Parents and Providers: Ready to join the Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative? Click to email us.

Business and Government Leaders: Ready to join your colleagues in working to find solutions as employers and policy makers? Click to email us.

Childcare Collaborative: Advocating for Early Education, Care

The Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative started with a simple goal: improved access to quality childcare and educational programming for kids of all ages, regardless of economic circumstances.

They started downtown as a group of childcare providers collaborating with one another to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in delivery of services. They agreed to work to reduce duplication while expanding varied opportunities for children and families.

Over time, Downtown Collaborative members began to focus on the workforce needs of the early childhood education and childcare industry. Their goal: To build successful, sustainable, quality childcare programs that meet community needs.

Supporting the Workforce Behind the Workforce

The Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative developed a initiative that would use the gig economy to help supply substitute teachers and education helpers in the childcare and early childhood education industry.

That project was introduced in September 2021. Click here to read more.

Essentially, the initiative is creating a cooperative system that will provide access to part-time contract employees who can fill in when regular childcare workers are unavailable.

Expensive and Inaccessible: Childcare Survey

Earlier in 2021, the Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative released a report that confirmed what industry leaders have long understood: Sioux Falls and its working families are in a childcare crisis. The pandemic and subsequent workforce shortage pushed a long-broken service model over a tipping point.

Now, thanks to the Beacom Research Fellows Program at Augustana University, the community understands how the crisis is affecting Sioux Falls.

The study was proposed to the Beacom Fellows by Sioux Falls Thrive, which facilitates the Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative.

Collaborative Members Include Providers, Non-Profit Leaders, Government Staff

Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative members represent the following organizations:

  • Apple Tree Children’s Center
  • Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire
  • Celebrate Church
  • Center for Prevention of Child Maltreatment
  • Central Church
  • Children’s Health Initiative (Sanford FIT)
  • EmBe
  • Family Child Care Professionals of South Dakota
  • Helpline Center
  • Hope Care
  • Kelsey’s Little Penguins Day Care
  • Kids Inc.
  • Kidstop
  • Lil Friends Educare
  • Little Tykes University
  • Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
  • Mike’s Mini Monsters
  • Peace Lutheran Church
  • Sanford Children’s CHILD Services
  • Several In-Home Childcare Providers
  • Sioux Empire United Way
  • Sioux Falls Hope Coalition
  • Sioux Falls Lutheran Schools
  • Sioux Falls School District
  • Sioux Falls YMCA
  • Siouxland Libraries
  • South Dakota Afterschool Network
  • South Dakota Parent Connection, Inc.
  • South Dakota Public Broadcasting
  • Southeast Technical College
  • Truks – n – Trykes

Government agency staff and elected officials are also active with the Childcare Collaborative. Included are several local legislators, and staff members from the South Dakota Department of Social Services and the Department of Education.

Interested in joining this group?


Originally published June 5, 2022.

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