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Focus groups to be held

Child care providers, school district-supported prekindergarten programs, Head Start programs and families with children ages birth to 5 are needed to share their experiences related to the availability, quality, cost and projected need for these services in North Dakota.

Focus groups to gather this information are a part of a study authorized by the 63rd Legislative Assembly and led by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. DPI is working with the North Dakota Department of Human Services, Head Start grantees, higher education, public and private education, special education, advocacy groups and state and local agencies. The focus groups meet on the following dates at these locations:

Feb. 5: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., self-declared providers and approved relative providers, Williston State College, Williston, N.D.

Feb. 6: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., families on wait-lists and/or not currently participating in child care services, Dickinson State University, Dickinson, N.D.

Feb. 11: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., families currently not on wait-list and/or not currently participating in Head Start Services, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks; 7 to 8:30 p.m., licensed child care centers, including preschool and in-home providers; state DPI approved prekindergarten programs and all other groups listed above are welcome to attend this session if unable to attend their respective group’s specific date and time, Bismarck State College, Bismarck, Lake Region State College, Devils Lake, Dickinson State College, North Dakota State University, Fargo, University of North Dakota, Minot State University, Minot, and Williston State College.

For more information or to participate in a focus group, contact Tara Bitz, state DPI assistant director, federal title programs, at (701) 328-4646 or or Jennifer Barry, Early Childhood Services administrator, North Dakota Department of Human Services Children and Family Services Division at (701) 328-4809, 1-800-245-3736, ND Relay TTY 1-800-366-6888 or