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Six area providers among grant recipients

Six area day care providers are among the recipients of North Dakota Daycare grants.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce awarded 96 grants from 411 applications, said Gordon La France, day care coordinator, with the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

With the influx of grants an additional 262 children across the state should be able to receive child care, La France said.

In Jamestown Community Action Region VI Head Start received $2,206 and Greta's Day Care received $3,000.

Head Start will use the funds to upgrade safety measures, particularly for the two students ages 3-5 with special needs, said Tammy Hoggarth, program director for Head Start Community Action Region VI.

In its six-county region, Community Action Region VI has 198 children in the Head Start program. Eighty- six are in the 3-5-year-old program in Jamestown, Hoggarth said. The program is income based.

The program for 0-3-year-olds has a waiting list at any given time of about 80 names, she said.

Greta's Daycare doesn't have a waiting-list problem but does get calls on a weekly basis asking about availability, said Greta Guscette, owner and operator.

Guscette runs the program out of her home and is licensed to take care of seven children. Three of her own children use the program so she only has room for four others, she said.

Guscette will use the grant funds to build a fence around her acre lot.

"It's just great, I know lots of times when parents call, having a fenced lot is a priority," she said.

In New Rockford, Donna Gedrose, owner and operator of Donna's Darlings, said she is also using her grant funds to add to a fence at her day care center along with an egress window.

The Department of Commerce reviewed the 411 applications and concluded that expanded care, special needs and business plans were the top priorities, La France said.

Edgeley Childcare is using its $1,500 grant to complete aspects of a business plan such as identification numbers and other legal requirements, said Rick Diegel, Edgeley Childcare board member.

Day care providers were required to match $1 of every $3 at their own expense or with public donations, he said.

Pauline's Daycare in Cooperstown received $1,162, and Marisa's Daycare in Ashley received $1,999.

The grant program was approved by the North Dakota Legislature last year and provides a total of $500,000 dispersed in two grant rounds to selected providers across the state.

From September to October 2009 day care providers could fill out a grant for their share of $262,000, La France said.

Providers who did receive one of the first grants can apply again in February, he said.

Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at brodgers@jamestownsun.com

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