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Daycare gets $300K loan for expansion

USDA Rural Development and Roughrider Electric Cooperative is providing a $300,000 loan to Dickinson childcare business KinderKidz Learning Center.

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The loan was awarded through the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan program, which provides zero-interest loans to utility companies to disburse to local businesses in order to encourage economic development.

Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development state director, said in a statement released Thursday that the loan went to KinderKidz because of the “child care shortage across the state,” particularly in the west.

“Addressing the lack of daycare in Dickinson, USDA is proud to have helped KinderKidz expand and support their efforts in providing high-quality care,” he said.

Owner Jennifer Moser started KinderKidz 11 years ago as a group daycare with just 18 children. Within five years, she had already built the learning center to support the influx of kids.

KinderKidz recently expanded its learning center facilities on 21st Street West to include 4,000 additional square feet. The expansion opened in January, allowing for 45 more children to attend.

“We filled up pretty fast,” Moser said.

She went through about a year-long process in order to get the loan, with help from the Strom Center and the American Bank Center.

“I just got a lot of support and encouragement with the expansion,” she said.

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer praised Roughrider Electric for helping a business like KinderKidz provide much-needed child care in the area.

“This loan is a great example of how our rural electric utilities serve as good stewards in the community by recognizing and fulfilling needs when they arise,” he said.

The expansion created 10 new jobs in the community as well, and KinderKidz has been busy hiring.

There is still a waitlist for spots at the learning center, but Moser said she has plans to expand even further. She said that her five-year plan is to open another center in Dickinson to join the existing center and the preschool location downtown.