For the first time in several years, childcare providers are holding out hope state lawmakers understand the importance of early childhood education. Earlier this year, Governor Tim Walz proposed a handful of childcare system investments to help families and providers across the state. Chad Dunkley president of the Minnesota Childcare Association says even before the pandemic, the state has been fighting a childcare crisis and these investments let him hope change is coming:
“That will finally make childcare more affordable for more Minnesota families, which is a huge issue. We’ll encourage providers to increase capacity because there are resources to support more families who will have the ability to pay, and there are even proposals to directly increase the compensation of early educators.”
Dunkley says the Minnesota House released a bill that includes several of these key components and the Minnesota Senate is following suit. He says providers across the state continue to have long waiting lists for families in need of child care and believes these funding options will be a game changer for many providers.