BEMIDJI — As part of the Rural Minnesota Child Care Tour headed by statewide organization Kids Count On Us, child care providers, teachers and parents gathered at Pine Pals Intergenerational Learning Child Care and Preschool on Wednesday to share their child care experiences and learn more about recent legislative changes surrounding child care throughout the state.
According to its website, Kids Count On Us is a coalition of providers, parents and teachers aiming to create quality, affordable child care across Minnesota. Read more.
St. Paul residents will be able to approve tax increases to fund childcare services at the ballot box in 2024, as the city council voted on Aug. 16 to override the mayor’s veto. The vote came weeks after the mayor vetoed the council’s resolution to place a proposal to pay for low-income childcare subsidies by raising property taxes on next year’s ballot.
During the vote to override the mayor’s veto, Councilmember Rebecca Noecker of Ward 2 spoke to the commitment many in the room shared to get the proposal on the ballot.
“This is a vote that honors the incredible amount of work done by so many people over so many years, many of whom are here in the room today, and most recently, our early learning legislative advisory committee,” she said. “We’ve asked and answered dozens of questions about how this program will work over the last seven years. and I look forward to answering dozens more over the next 18 months.” Read more.
MINNESOTA, USA — On Sept. 30, a federal program that helped childcare centers stay open during the pandemic will end and some experts say the loss of federal funding could force thousands of daycares to close.
The American Rescue Plan, a pandemic aid package, included around $40 billion for the childcare industry, which included Child Care Stabilization Grants.
These grants helped providers pay their workers to prevent them from leaving the profession.
"This had been a really important lifeline to keep their doors open, keep them operating,” Child Care Aware Minnesota Executive Director Ann McCully said.
That federal funding is set to expire on September 30th as the program comes to an end. Read more.
MINNEAPOLIS – Experts warn the country could be on the brink of a child care funding "cliff" next month when COVID-era relief money expires.
The American Rescue Plan, a pandemic aid package, included $40 billion for the child care industry to stay afloat, including Child Care Stabilization Base Grants, or payments to providers mostly so they can pay their workers more and keep them from leaving. But that funding runs dry Sept. 30.
The consequences could be severe: The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, estimates 70,000 programs nationwide could shutter and three million children could lose their spots. In Minnesota, that translates to nearly 71,000 children and more than 2,700 day care programs expected to close, according to the report.
An analysis by the Minnesota Department of Human Services found 96% of providers who received the grant funding said the support helped them stay open.
"They did find that both center-based programs as well as individual home providers that got the grants were less likely to close," said Jennifer Valorose, research manager at the Wilder Foundation, a nonprofit in St. Paul. "There is some indication that this infusion of money is helping folks stay open and continue to provide that important care for families."
Chad Dunkley, CEO of New Horizon Academy — the largest child care provider in Minnesota — and president of the Minnesota Child Care Association, added that the state would probably have half the child care providers today compared to pre-pandemic if not for the federal funding.
But he said Minnesota is a bright spot in the national crisis: The state legislature this year approved a similar grant program of their own, where all funding — not at least 70%, like the federal grants — must support higher salaries for educators. Read more.
At Primrose School of Champlin Park, 3-year-olds are being introduced to Spanish, and at Four Directions Family Center on E. Lake Street in Minneapolis, they are immersed in the Dakota and Ojibwe languages.
Advocates say the brain develops most rapidly in a child's youngest years — so why wait until preschool?
State-funded scholarships commonly associated with 4-year-old preschoolers are being expanded in a big way in 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 to give more low-income infants and toddlers access to richer, more consistent programming. The multimillion-dollar infusion of financial support is the result of a long campaign to get kids off to an early start on their education — really, really early. Read more.
The American Rescue Plan, a pandemic aid package, included $40 billion for the child care industry to stay afloat, including Child Care Stabilization Base Grants, or payments to providers mostly so they can pay their workers more and keep them from leaving. But that funding runs dry Sept. 30. Read more.
WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) -- Lieutenant Governor Flanagan visited Winona to celebrate expanding childcare access throughout Minnesota.
Flanagan met with White House officials earlier this week discussing childcare issues, and how Minnesota can make childcare accessible for more people.
The Minnesota budget signed into law includes over $1.3 billion in support of childcare workforce, along with expanding childcare access.
Flanagan says she prioritizes making Minnesota the best state in the country to raise a child. Read more.
It's being called the New Minnesota Miracle. Our children are smiling, even the babies with their lopsided grins. The Legislature and governor have taken steps to make our state a great place to be a child.
If anything will change the landscape and have an impact on future generations of Minnesotans, it is the recent legislation providing support and funding for our youngest citizens: our babies and toddlers. Read more.
"What are you most proud of accomplishing this session?" Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman's answer to that question posed by Minnesota Reformer reporter Michelle Griffith caught my eye.
Did Hortman say securing reproductive rights, increasing the child care tax credit, increasing the tax exemption for Social Security income, providing free school lunches to all kids or legalizing marijuana? It was none of the above. Read more.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Mike Braun (R-IN) to introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation to improve the availability and quality – and lower the cost – of childcare in agricultural and rural communities.
A companion version of the Expanding Childcare in Rural America (ECRA) Act of 2023 was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-3), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR-5), Tracey Mann (R-KS-1), and Yadira Caraveo (D-CO-8). Read more.
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