The Hyde County Community Daycare was established to fill a need in a small rural county. Hyde County has a population of 1454, an area of 860 square miles, and only one town Highmore, 714 people. As the news went out that one childcare provider was moving away and two more were closing, parents and community leaders collaborated to form the Hyde County Day Care Board, a non profit organization, to address the childcare needs of the county. The board includes educators, parents, business owners, childcare and healthcare providers. After substantial research, they reasoned that a viable solution was to build a community–owned facility.
Their plan became reality when they were granted a facility under the South Dakota Governor’s Child Care Facility program. This program provides a 900 sq. ft. ‘house’ to qualifying low income communities that is affordable, energy efficient and low maintenance. The houses are constructed at a minimum security state prison.
Funds from REED were used to purchase land, prepare the foundation and footings, finance electric wiring and plumbing, purchase equipment, inventory and proved modest working capital to start the facility. The community raised $15,000 to complete the project. Total project cost, including the value of the facility, $156,000.
The daycare is licensed with the State of South Dakota for children ranging from four weeks to 12 years and provides a vital service for young families in the region. Without the facility, families would be forced to consider moving to a larger community and local businesses would struggle to survive and hire qualified employees. Hyde County Community Daycare offers its services to two adjacent communities as well. The 74 people of Ree Heights, and 200 people of Harrold are very excited about this addition to their area.