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Cost of Care Survey from DHS

Wednesday, May 15, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Hello MCCA Members – we are (hopefully) just days away from the end of the 2019 state legislative session. Even so, there remains much uncertainty about where different issues affecting child care will end up in the final analysis.

Last week I personally reached out to MCCA members in key legislative districts, those with members of the conference committees currently hammering out the final agreements. A huge thank you to those that I have heard back from for making those calls, sending those emails, and in some cases having personal conversations with those legislators and staff.

I would also like to give a big thank you and shout out to Allie Wroble of Ewald’s Government Relations team, who has kept you in the know about all legislative details this spring. Her weekly updates have helped keep us all on track!

It Wouldn’t Be the End of Session without Another Action Alert…

Thanks to our friends at Think Small, here’s a SUPER easy (you don’t even need to copy and paste) way to get your personal representatives a quick message letting them know you’re watching and expecting good things for early childhood in the final budget deal.

Click here to enter your address:

You will then be taken to a page that shows your local elected officials and can press one more button to send the following message:

With the end of the legislative session approaching, I wanted to reach out as a constituent to share my support for investments in children birth to age five and their families. Investing early helps give children a fair chance at success later on.

Several proposals under consideration right now would help Minnesota make progress toward alleviating opportunity gaps and child care shortages. Increasing funding for early learning scholarships, adopting family-friendly federal conformity provisions and increased provider reimbursement rates for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), and funding Retaining Early Educators through Attaining Incentives Now (R.E.E.T.A.I.N.) would all be positive steps toward improving conditions for young children and their families.

Young children are counting on you to make this a great state for all of them. Please work to make these provisions a part of the final budget deal. Thank you.

If you only have time to click and send the above, thank you. If you have time to add some personal thoughts to the message (a story about how higher child care assistance reimbursement rates would help your families and your business, how teachers getting REETAIN grants could help them stay with you instead of leaving the field for other opportunities, what you’ve seen scholarships be able to do to stabilize kids and families, how you’d like to see more grants for child care facilities in greater MN, how you hope the list of Fix-It Ticket eligible licensing violations gets expanded, anything you want!), then thank you thank you.

Cost of Care Survey from DHS

We are all oversurveyed, but when the survey at hand has the potential to affect policy and funding for child care in MN, we do our best to get the word out and maximize participation. Last week you should have received an email like the one below with your personal survey link from DHS. This cost of care survey is the final piece in a long-term stakeholder engagement process DHS has undertaken to try and get a better handle on just how much it actually costs to provide high quality child care.

It is extremely important to get accurate data, and as much of it as possible. The main source of information around child care costs currently rests with the state Market Rate Survey. While that will continue to be important, we know that the rates we charge often reflect more what local parents are able to pay, not what the costs of providing the service actually are. This can cascade into the issues our field faces, such as lower wages and benefits… because we aren’t able to get the revenue truly needed (from parents or public funds) to support true costs.

Please take the time to complete this survey. If you are the director of a multi-center organization you may need to contact your owner/main office for some of the detailed answers around benefit costs, insurance, and such.

The survey is open until May 22, 2019. If you did not receive an email like this one or have deleted it, please contact Amanda Ward with the information below.

Thank you for your attention to better serve children, families, and staff, not only in your program but across MN!

Dear Provider,

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is conducting a study to estimate the true cost of providing child care. We know that the true cost of operating your program may not be reflected in the prices that you are able to charge. The study that we are conducting will explore how costs may vary by the type of care, size of the center, age groups served, quality indicators, and geographic region. The Department of Human Services will use the results of this study to inform recommendations and potential changes to CCAP policy and the financial supports offered to centers and preschool programs to help them achieve and sustain higher levels of quality.

You can help by completing the survey below for your child care center. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. All responses will be kept confidential and identifying characteristics will not be included in the analysis or in the report of results.

You can access the survey through this link: You received a personal link.

Please use the following Survey ID number when completing the survey: You received a personal code.

The ICF research team will use the information from the survey to inform the assumptions used in the study. The team will maintain complete confidentiality of all the data that you share with us. Provider names and defining characteristics will not be included in the analysis dataset or in the report findings. Again, the information that you provide will remain confidential.

We hope you are interested in helping us learn more about this important topic, and we appreciate the time that you take to complete this survey. If we have follow up questions, we may reach out to you at the phone number or email that you provided.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Amanda Ward by email at or by phone at 651-431-4209.

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