REED Fund Helped Expand Blue Dragon Academy Daycare in Garretson, SD

REED Fund Helped Expand Blue Dragon Academy Daycare in Garretson, SD Main Photo

10 Feb 2022

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In 2019, Blue Dragon Academy in Garretson opened a brand new building that fit 105 kids. Within a few months, the building was already completely full. Now, 39 kids are on the waitlist to join the daycare. 

In order to accommodate those kids and more, Blue Dragon Academy plans to expand by approximately 3,400 square feet. The expansion is expected to fit 50 to 60 kids. In order to make this possible, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance connected Blue Dragon Academy with the Rural Electric Economic Development (REED) Fund.

Assisting Parents During The Pandemic

This new change will be useful to parents and guardians who can not currently get their kids into daycare due to lack of available openings. According to an article from Argus Leader, the COVID-19 pandemic caused thousands of slots for children at South Dakota daycare facilities to be eliminated. A multitude of kids have been added to waitlists for local daycares as these child care centers have been struggling to accommodate everyone.

This leaves parents and guardians with little to no time for work and some have even had to quit their jobs in order to care for their kids. Not only is it a struggle to get their children placed into a daycare, but it is also difficult to find affordable child care options. 

Funding child care is yet another obstacle child care centers are facing. Blue Dragon Academy’s original request for a loan to construct the current building they occupy was denied by the bank. With few affordable options left for child care in South Dakota, many are ready to pounce on the next opportunity that becomes available. 

Expanding Blue Dragon Academy

The main goal of Blue Dragon Academy's new development is to provide room for more kids. It will also include a large room that can be rented out by community members for special events when the room is not being used by the daycare children.

The space will be offered to kids before and after their school day. This will allow parents and guardians more wiggle room with their work schedules. They can feel at ease knowing that while busy at work, their kids will be in good hands with kind professionals at the daycare facility. 

Construction on this project is set to start in mid April. They are aiming to have construction fully done for the new daycare add-on by early November.  

REED Fund Creates More Child Care Opportunities In South Dakota

The REED Fund is a 501.3.3 nonprofit corporation that provides loans to specific projects and entities in order to promote improvement and growth in the region. The fund supports financing for plans like the building add-on. 

The REED Fund supplied the loan at a low-interest rate to Blue Dragon Academy. Blue Dragon Academy also hopes to raise $240,000 as agreed upon with the REED Fund.