Child Care Options in the Black Hills
Working parents in the Black Hills often struggle with finding childcare, especially those whose children are too young for school. Summer breaks and holidays present their own challenges. Military families face even more obstacles given the possibility of extended deployments. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you find care that is reliable and affordable.
The Division of Child Care Services is an excellent place to start. They have a comprehensive listing of registered and licensed child care providers in western South Dakota. Using the site is easy; you can search by provider type (child care centers; family and group child care; before/after school programs), location, or—if you have a specific provider in mind and would like more information—name or provider number. There are listings for informal providers showing inspection and compliance information, if available.
The Ellsworth Air Force Base Child Development Center is on hand to assist military and civilian personnel by providing quality childcare programs and services for eligible children from birth through 18 years of age. The Ellsworth Youth Center is another on-base option that offers daily activities for teens and school age children; these range from arts, sports, and education to life skills and career development. In neighboring Box Elder, Candyland is a brand-new child development center located just off Liberty Boulevard. It features dedicated rooms for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, and offers before and after school care, as well.
Rapid City has some great options for working families, as well. The YMCA of Rapid City offers child care and day camp options for children of all ages, from infants through school age, as well as a drop-in nursery. Youth & Family Services provides children and families in western South Dakota with a variety of programs and services, including a Child Development Center offering enhanced child care, after school school, and summer care. Little Nest Child Care and Learning Center offers childcare for ages six weeks through 12 years, with before/after school and drop-in options available. The Club for Boys, open since 1963, is dedicated to promoting positive experiences for boys in a caring, safe, and fun environment. School year and summer programs are available. Contrary to its name, Just Jymnastics offers more than just gymnastics; their Learning Center is designed to guide students in second grade and up with virtual learning. Half-day and full-day classes are available.