South Dakota Community Has Its ‘Pulse’ on Childcare, Workforce Development

South Dakota Community Has Its ‘Pulse’ on Childcare, Workforce Development Main Photo

12 Oct 2023

News, Featured Loans

$245K loan makes Pulse of Life Kids Center come to life

An innovative new partnership in Vermillion, South Dakota, highlights the connection between childcare and workforce development. Thanks to a $245K loan from Clay-Union Electric  through the Rural Electric Economic Development (R.E.E.D.), Inc. Fund, the Pulse of Life Kids Center was created as a shared space with Pulse of Life Church in a converted medical building. 

“As a parent, it is hard to be a valued, successful employee if you spend time worrying about your child while you are away from them,” says Chris Larson, General Manager, Clay-Union. “It was important to Clay-Union to help members of our cooperative find a way to start a daycare business that is desperately needed in our community. This will help bring more people here and will help give those individuals an assurance that their children are safe and will get a head start on learning the skills they need to be successful in school.”

Pastors Glenn and Angela Pulse bought the 7,500-square-foot medical clinic on 1.3 acres built in 1998. They converted it to a church and daycare that operates seven days a week with different ministry activities. The daycare is part of the Pulse of Life church through the Foursquare Church denomination that officially opened on August 22, 2023. Pulse of Life Kids Care exists to offer exceptional care within a holistic early childhood education environment that provides guided spiritual formation, artistic expression, physical development, social exploration, and teaching from a biblical worldview. Its connection to the community made the three-way partnership a no-brainer.

“By forming a relationship with a local development group, they were able to help promote the R.E.E.D fund to the Pulse of Life owners,” says Larson. “It was an opportunity for Clay-Union to help a member fulfill a dream and improve the quality of life for members of the community.  As the chairman of the R.E.E.D. Fund, I was excited to bring this loan to the full board for approval.”

Childcare is becoming more and more of an economic development issue in smaller towns with limited resources. Many people who want to be in the workforce are forced to stay at home to care for their children or grandchildren because they have no other viable, safe options. In addition, quality childcare also significantly impacts the future workforce, as children need access to quality education to teach them the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in school and their future careers.

“In our community, the need for daycare is high. We not only need it for our existing workforce but for potential new businesses that may come into the area,” says Larson. “Our community has a University (University of South Dakota) with many families from all over the world. It assures them that their children are safe while they continue their education in an unfamiliar environment.”

For more information on this partnership, please contact