Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

N. Dakota Electric Co-Ops, USDA Help Meet Need for Daycare Center

Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

N. Dakota Electric Co-Ops, USDA Help Meet Need for Daycare Center

Article excerpt

Question: What do you get when you combine a small town with an oil boom and an immediate need for childcare services? Answer: A mutually owned day care center in the community of Watford City, N.D.

Wolf Run Village Inc., a nonprofit corporation, is located in Watford City, N.D., where it is in the heart of oil country. Wolf Run Village was formed in July 2012 by a group of local city, county and school officials as a means for providing affordable housing and additional day care capacity.

The city's sudden increase in population due to oil activity has created a substantial shortage in childcare services. There were no private entrepreneurs stepping up to the plate. So, to fill this need, Wolf Run Village established Wolf Pup Daycare center, a facility with enough capacity to care for nearly 200 children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years old.

As a nonprofit corporation, the goal for the daycare center (other than providing children with a safe learning environment) is to keep the care fees as low as possible while paying a living wage to workers. Due to the high cost of living in this area, the nonprofit will be actively fundraising in order to provide need-based scholarships in the future to children of lower income families.

The new construction of this state-of-the-art daycare facility would not have been possible without a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan secured by Reservation Telephone Cooperative of Parshall, N.D. daycare facilities in North Dakota have a difficult time "cash flowing" due to the high cost of labor. The zero-interest loan helped achieve a positive projected cash flow position.

We were saved by the bell on this one. The news was incredible," says Katie Walters, the daycare center's project manager. The facility includes a commercial kitchen and a multipurpose indoor/outdoor play room. …

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