BERTHOLD - U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development partnered with Verendrye Electric Cooperative recently to help Kids Academy in Berthold build a new child care center.
"This project will help support the economic health of the community by ensuring child care services for working families," said Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development State Director. "We are proud to partner with Verendrye as this facility will provide a quality environment for children."
Kids Academy began operating out of their new child care center on May 25. With 3,672 square feet, the facility can accommodate up to 65 children and plans to be at full capacity this fall. The center has a kitchen, dining area and spacious environment to support preschool, youth and after-school programs. The project will help alleviate the current demand for daycare services in the community. It will also help those working in the oil patch move their families to the area.
Bruce Carlson, manager of Verendrye Electric Cooperative, which is serving as the intermediary for the revolving loan, said the cooperative was happy to help the Kids Academy.
"Daycare is an important element of economic development and the Kids Academy will be a nice place for parents to take their children," Carlson said. "Verendrye applauds the USDA for making this program available to help our communities grow."
As a result of the project, the center expects to create as many as 20 new jobs. USDA Rural Development awarded Verendrye a $300,000 grant through the Rural Economic Development Grant program to help build the child care center. The total project cost is estimated at $430,000, which includes the pre-fabricated building, playground and indoor equipment. Additional funding and property lots were donated by individuals and local businesses. Kids Academy is located on Main Street in Berthold.
The Rural Economic Development Grant Program provides grant funds to local utility organizations which use the funding to establish revolving loan funds. Loans are made from the revolving loan fund to projects that will create or retain rural jobs. When the revolving loan fund is terminated, the grant is repaid to the Agency. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's website at (www.rurdev.usda.gov/nd).