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  • Wednesday, February 08, 2023 8:27 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    The Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force was proposed by early care and education advocates and legislators, and signed into law in 2021 by Governor Walz. The legislation establishing the Task Force had bipartisan support. The purpose of the Task Force was to develop a state plan to accomplish the goal for “all families to have access to affordable, high-quality early care and education that enriches, nurtures, and supports children and their families” (Minnesota 2021 Session Law, First Special Session, Chapter 7, Article 14, Section 18, Subd. 2). The Task Force was comprised of 11 voting members appointed by the Governor, 4 voting members appointed by legislative leadership, and 22 non-voting members appointed by varying individuals. Read more.

  • Tuesday, February 07, 2023 2:01 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Access to affordable childcare – or lack thereof – has lately become a hot topic throughout Faribault County, and throughout the state of Minnesota.

    Acutely aware of the issue, many area Economic Development Authority (EDA) boards have been taking measures to support current childcare providers and incentivize new providers to enter the business.

    Most recently, the issue caught the attention of the Faribault County EDA. Following in the footsteps of several city EDAs, the county EDA is now offering a program geared toward making providers’ jobs a little bit easier.

    “Throughout the county, and in all of our communities, childcare has been a big topic,” Faribault County EDA specialist Jennifer Howard observes. Read more.

  • Sunday, January 29, 2023 10:26 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The legislative process is hitting full speed in St. Paul, now that Gov. Tim Walz has officially unveiled his $65 billion budget proposal.

    This session, there are a number of proposals under discussion that directly impact Minnesota families, related to child care and paid family leave. The two topics, though separate and filled with their own complexities, are also intertwined in many ways. Read more.

  • Thursday, January 26, 2023 9:26 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Thank you Gov Walz! We are thankful for the proposed investment in childcare - supporting both staff and families - for the betterment of the children in Minnesota! We are proud to support Governor Tim Walz and his administration.  Watch the video here.

  • Monday, January 16, 2023 1:38 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    BRAINERD — As many as 17,000 children and their families in central Minnesota lack access to child care, almost matching the rest of rural Minnesota combined.

    This was one fact relayed Tuesday, Jan. 10, to U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, who stopped in Brainerd to applaud the Brainerd Family YMCA’s efforts to make a dent in that shortage. The senator’s visit comes after she and Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced $600,000 in Congressionally Designated Spending for the YMCA, which is aiming to open a new day care center within the year. Read more.

  • Friday, January 13, 2023 2:15 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Child care access and affordability were challenges for families long before the COVID-19 pandemic, as were workforce shortages and profitability for providers.

    But for many of those involved, the impact of the coronavirus on those issues has been enough to cause a full-blown child care crisis, creating a “dire” situation the state must act quickly to address.

    Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul), chair of the House Children and Families Finance and Policy Committee, outlined the problem for the panel Thursday while discussing HF150, a bill he sponsors to bolster the child care system by appropriating more than $30 million to help both families and providers alike. No committee action was taken.

    “This is applying a tourniquet to a gaping wound,” Pinto said. “There’s a lot that we need to do in addition, but let’s at least get families the child care they need and stabilization for the sector.” Read more.

  • Monday, January 09, 2023 8:53 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    In "Writing on the wall: The kids can't read" (Opinion Exchange, Dec. 27) experienced educator Peter Hutchinson explains in detail the different methods of teaching children to read. He claims that using phonics rather than whole word teaching will raise low reading scores while improving discipline, suspensions and truancy. He concludes by saying the $1 billion expenditure needed to retrain teachers in the Science of Reading will "generate a far higher return to the state as a whole than any alternative. Read more.

  • Thursday, December 29, 2022 6:31 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    In response to questions from providers and families about how to manage illnesses, we’re passing along tips related to respiratory illness and measles. Read more.

  • Thursday, December 29, 2022 6:30 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Minnesotans know that every family — no matter where they live, what they look like, or how much money they make — deserves access to affordable child care. In addition, child-care workers deserve living wages.

    We providers and advocates pushed legislation in St. Paul last year to help children, parents, and child-care providers. Unfortunately, it was not voted through, which we knew would be detrimental to child care in Minnesota. Read more.

  • Thursday, December 29, 2022 6:29 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Brian Deese, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the administration is looking for areas where it can “lower price pressures in the economy, lower costs for consumers and increase the productive potential of the economy.”

    Deese said the White House is considering a renewed push for child care benefits, which could help working parents and encourage workforce participation. The Biden administration previously sought to increase funding for child care and establish universal pre-K in its Build Back Better package. Read more.

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