A recent commentary, "Minnesota's child care crisis is government-made" (Aug. 1), paints a dramatically incomplete picture of the challenges facing the early care and education (ECE) sector. In arguing for loosening health and safety regulations, it takes a simplistic approach that ignores the research-backed benefits.
We couldn't agree more that access to high-quality ECE is fundamental to a well-functioning economy. As members of the Governor's Council on Economic Expansion, we note that our recent report, "Minnesota's Moment: A roadmap for equitable economic expansion" argues that increasing access to child care all across Minnesota is essential to creating a thriving economy in the next 10 years. Read more.
At this time, the risk of monkeypox to children and adolescents in the United States is low. However, this page answers frequently asked questions about monkeypox for administrators and staff of K-12 schools, early care and education (ECE) programs, camps, and other community settings serving children or adolescents (for example, sports leagues and after-school programs). ECE programs may include center-based childcare, family childcare, Head Start, or other early learning, early intervention and preschool/pre-kindergarten programs delivered in schools, homes, or other community settings. This information may also be helpful to parents who have questions about monkeypox.
Institutions of higher education (IHE) can prepare by understanding the guidance on congregate settings and by being sure their student health center is aware of the guidance for healthcare professionals.
A general overview and further information on monkeypox can be found on the Monkeypox Frequently Asked Questions page. Signs and symptoms of monkeypox are also described.
Click here for additional information.
Option piece: Minnesota's child care crisis is government-made
Access to high-quality affordable child care is fundamental to a well-functioning economy. It also enables parents to stay in the workforce, which allows businesses to find workers. And high-quality child care also readies children for school.
Unfortunately, the child care system in Minnesota has been broken for a long time. Middle-income and low-income parents are being squeezed by sky-high prices as they try to afford child care — that is, if they do not exit the workforce altogether. And when parents cannot work, businesses cannot find workers, which is a loss to our economy. Read more.
Response Letters Printed by Star Tribune:
Having spent most of my adult life working with infants in many settings, training infant caregivers and directing a child care center, I felt a need to respond to the opinion piece by Martha Njolomole about the cost of infant care in Minnesota ("Minnesota's child care crisis is government-made," Opinion Exchange, Aug. 1). The ratio of four infants to one caregiver is the maximum to allow for quality care. The National Association for the Education of Young Children states this as one of the limits for quality. Higher than that will push infant care back to the days of placing babies in containers for most of their day. Read more.
Child care has always been a financially challenging business. Even before COVID-19, our center, Mini Mos Child Care and Preschool in Esko, struggled financially. During the pandemic, it got worse. Like so many child-care centers in Minnesota, we were teetering, barely hanging on.
Quality child care is expensive to provide. There is no way around it. Staffing is one of our biggest challenges. Currently, 73.3% of our budget is for staffing. For reference, most experts say that to run a financially sound business, no more than 50% of your budget should be for staffing. That leaves little left to cover the myriad overhead expenses we have. And prices just keep going up. Read more.
MCCA Government Relations Chair Clare Sanford teamed up with Jake Stewart of the Early Care & Education Consortium for Women in Government’s National Legislative Conference in Denver. It was a wonderful opportunity to speak to female legislators from around the country on needed investments & policies for young children, providers, and the child care workforce.
Congratulations to members Kinderberry Hill, Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Preschool, and New Horizon Academy for being recognized as 2022 top workplaces by the Star Tribune!
Thank you to state senators Jim Abeler & Karin Housley for visiting member New Horizon Academy Ramsey! We discussed the need for special session investment in both direct child care funding and tax credits for families with young children, as well as the struggles of our workforce as it works to support the rest of the workforce.
Huston has been in the child-care business for more than 20 years. She says her operating expenses increased significantly during the pandemic due to extra cleaning costs.
“I spend probably in a month $300 worth in just the cleaning supplies that’s above and beyond what I used to,” said Huston.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has several grant programs to stabilize the child-care industry. However, some day-care groups say more needs to be done.
“The grants are not enough because of the scale of the child-care crisis we have,” said Clare Stanford with the Minnesota Child Care Association. “But we are thrilled that there are proposals to continue those grants.”
Currently, those grants are being funded with federal emergency COVID-19 money. But the support will expire in about a year. The Minnesota Child Care Association wants the state legislature to use state dollars to continue funding those grants.
“We want families to have more affordable and accessible child-care options. And we want early educators who deliver that child care to have more compensation,” explained Sanford.
Meanwhile, Huston hopes the state’s budget surplus will allow child-care providers like herself to continue doing the work they love.
“I want to do this until I retire, and that’s about 10 years away. So, I’ve got 10 more years and I want to stay afloat.” Read more.
Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by violence across the globe. We’ve compiled these online resources for parents, teachers, and others working with young children about coping with violence and talking to young children about tragedies they learn about in the media.
Frontline Worker Pay is law!
You may sign up on this site to receive updates as the program rolls out.
Also, here’s an article published today that we worked on behind the scenes. The DFL and the GOP are soooooo far apart.
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