Ask any parent with small children and they'll tell you the daycare situation in Sioux Falls is dire, and without daycare, parents cannot work. According to a recent study done by the Augustana Research Institute daycare in Sioux Falls is "Expensive & Inaccessible".

In fact, that is the title of the report. Many attribute the shortage of viable childcare options to the COVID-19 pandemic, but research indicates this problem "predates the pandemic". It also reveals that "poor families and families of color" are affected adversely by the expense, more often than others.

A study by the National Survey of Children's Health (2016) found that almost two million parents in 2016 alone with children under the age of five quit a job, did not take a job, or changed their job due to childcare issues.

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One family, with four children and who faced these problems themselves, decided to bring a new concept in daycare to Sioux Falls.

Michael and Leslie Smith just broke ground on "what they believe is the "state's largest stand-alone child care center". The KidsRKids Learning Academy is a concept the Smiths heard about through a friend.

The 17,000-square-foot building beginning construction at 85th Street and Western Avenue will be licensed for up to 255 students, from 6 weeks old to 12 years, including before- and after-school and summer care.

The center includes multiple safety features and also a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) Lab, 4 playgrounds, a restroom for each classroom, and a special room for kids who get sick or hurt.

The plan is to open KidsRKids in May, with rates admittedly on the high end, but also high pay and scholarships for employees looking to make education a career. They are taking enrollments now.

For more information, see KidsRKids Learning Academy Prairie Hills on Facebook or at their website.

Sources: Pigeon605, Dakota News Now, Sioux Falls Thrive/Augustana Research Institute

Sioux Falls: Then and Now

The City of Sioux Falls has changed dramatically over the past several years. Some of the streets, landscapes, and neighborhoods look vastly different than just 10-15 years ago.

Here's a look at Sioux Falls, then-and-now. See if you can recognize some of these old buildings, businesses, and city streets.

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