SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Childcare providers are in high demand all over South Dakota. As wait lists climb and providers are filled with kids, a free program is geared at helping providers across the state focus on their own mental health.

“When you’re caring for children, you have to be on 24/7,” Worthy WE founder Sarah Vining said.

It’s a challenge for anyone caring for kids, including parents, but for childcare providers surrounded by a room full of small children all day, they especially feel the pressure of having to control their emotions and reactions throughout the day.

“When we take care of small children, we do a better job when we’re taking care of ourselves,” Vining said.

It’s one of the reasons social worker Sarah Vining founded her mental wellness company Worthy WE, helping to teach more people some essential coping skills through the Community Resiliency Model.

“We learn six really simple wellness skills that we can use right when we get triggered out of that resilience zone, whether that’s at work, at home or just at the grocery store, so if something comes up, we can use our skills right in that moment to help regulate our nervous system,” Vining said.

The free training is available to all licensed childcare providers in South Dakota through this May.

“We were able to receive a grant from DSS through their early childhood education system, so now we’re able to provide free workshops,” Vining said. “That could be anyone working at a center, in-home or an after-school program, we can come in and provide that training to their staff.”

Because providers are so busy and in demand all over the state, scheduling for these trainings sessions is flexible. Whether it’s on the weekends or during the work week, in person or over zoom. The free program has been underway for about a year, with the licensed social workers meeting with providers in all corners of the state.

“We’ve probably done around 30 to 40, so we’re excited about how many childcare providers we’ve been able to reach, but we want to do our due diligence in the grant and be able to finish out strong and do as many of these training workshops as possible,” Vining said.

Any licensed providers interested in learning more about hosting one of these free workshops at your daycare center or in your community can find more information here.