Program Overview
This program represents a early childhood development focused cooperative that owns a center based in Hazen, ND and provide low-cost early childhood development opportunities to local employees. The center accommodates children from 6 weeks old up to Kindergarten, and also provides summer and before / after school care for K-12 students. The philosophy of the cooperative is to weave utilize high parent involvement and a play-based pre-school curriculum to meet development needs of children of different stages / ages. The Program’s startup costs were funded by 8 local employers (primarily from the energy sector) and the center is managed by a cooperative that is led by with a 9 person board of directors.

Program Impact
Since the child care center was open in May of 2017, the center has received 68 enrollments and has capacity for an additional 9 children. 

Observations / Insights
Childcare had been highlighted as a challenge for the community by local economic development organizations and was a key component to the regional growth strategy. The childcare cooperative was organized as a 501c3 organization to insulate against liability, allow the co-op to charge for services, and enable tax deductible donations Overall, the program required <$20,000 initial investment per employer and took 16 months to launch after plans were made in 2016.