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Brookings approves $580,000 child care allocation

Brookings Summer Arts Festival offers a shuttle service for attendees
Brookings Summer Arts Festival
Brookings Summer Arts Festival offers a shuttle service for attendees

The Brookings City Council has approved funding to expand child care services in the community. In total, more than a half million additional funds were added to the school district.

The $580,000 was initially allocated to the Brookings Economic Development Corporation and will fund new projects at the school district and local Boys and Girls Club.

State Sen. and community economic director Tim Reed said this shift in funding will benefit every group involved.

“It really is a win-win," Reed said. "We’re going to get more child care slots than was originally planned with how we’d use the funds to create a new center, and we’re going to improve early learning here in Brookings. I think we really got something special here when we have these organizations like the (Brookings Economic Development Corporation), the school district, and the Boys and Girls Club coming together.”

He said sharing these assets will keep child care in the community sustainable.

“With these organizations coming together we’re going to have a very sustainable early-learning increase," Reed said. "The best part of it is we’re going to have coverage from 6 AM to 6 PM.”

Councilmember Holly Tilton Byrne said it’s an exciting development for families in Brookings.

“I think when the council initially identified this $580,000 for child care initiatives, I don’t think we had a vision quite this big," Tilton Byrne said. "To see the impact that’s going to happen really is quite motivating.”

The funding was unanimously approved by the council.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture