Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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April 18 , 2007

State Receives Funding to Continue Infant-Toddler
Training for Child Care Providers

PIERRE, S.D. - The Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Care Services has been awarded grant funds totaling $620,614 to help continue a statewide training program for individuals who care for infants and toddlers, according to Division Director Patricia Monson.

Through the Archibald Bush Foundation, South Dakota has received a total of $6.9 million over the past nine years to improve the quality of care for children birth to age three. 

“High quality child care during the first three years of life has been shown to have a positive influence on a child’s mental, physical, social, and emotional development. The Bush Foundation funding has allowed the Division of Child Care Services to continue the Infant-Toddler Training Initiative which focuses on enhancing and ensuring high quality care for infants and toddlers,” said Monson.

The funding is used to staff an infant-toddler specialist at each of the five Early Childhood Enrichment programs located in Aberdeen, Brookings, Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. These specialists coordinate training and provide technical assistance and support to child care providers caring for young children. The Pine Ridge, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock and Sisseton-Wahpeton reservations also receive funding to manage Infant-Toddler Training programs.

More than 5,000 child care providers, parents and early childhood professionals have benefited from the services provided through the Infant-Toddler Training Initiative. According to Monson, over 2,000 infant-toddler trainings have been offered in 81 communities and 54 counties since the beginning of the project.

For more information about the Infant-Toddler Training Initiative, contact the Department of Social Services at 605-773-3165 or visit Infant Todler Training to learn more.