Protecting Our Talented Workforce

Protecting Our Talented Workforce
Laura Bordelon, senior vice president for advocacy, meets with Representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar.

HF 3402– House and Senate votes
CHILD-CARE REGULATIONS BILL

CHAMBER SUPPORTED/BILL PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE; GOVERNOR SIGNED
YES is vote supporting Minnesota Chamber position

Quality child care that is accessible and affordable was a priority for legislators this year. Minnesota is facing a significant workforce shortage, and the current need for workers is hindered by the child-care shortage in our communities. Increasing quality early child care is important not just for addressing the current workforce shortage. It also addresses workforce needs of the future since early education will improve kindergarten readiness, leading to closing the preparation gap and ultimately the achievement gap.

The growing child-care shortage has the potential to impede economic success in many communities. The number of licensed in-home family child-care providers has decreased by almost 30 percent across the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Center for Rural Policy and Development. The shortage of affordable child-care facilities is particularly acute in Greater Minnesota. Quality early childhood education provides the foundation for a productive future workforce and also supports the current workforce.

Our efforts focused on modifying child-care regulations and increasing the number of available child-care providers in communities. Child-care providers have reported that the scope and breadth of regulations needed to start a child care business are difficult to identify, understand and implement. Several bills were introduced to bring transparency to state regulations and modifications so child-care providers are not deterred from starting or growing their businesses.

We thank Representative Roz Peterson, R-Lakeville, and Senator Bill Weber, R-Luverne, for authoring this legislation.

Stacey Stout, director of education and workforce development policy, talks with Representative Dario Anselmo, R-Edina, and Higher Education Committee member, about the importance of providing quality early childhood education.

HF 3605 – House vote
CHILD-PROVIDER GRANTS
CHAMBER SUPPORTED/BILL PASSED HOUSE BUT NOT INCLUDED IN SENATE; GOVERNOR VETOED
YES is vote supporting Minnesota Chamber position

This legislation provided $500,000 in grants to increase the supply of child care in communities with a documented shortage of providers. The grants were to be used by communities to address the distinctive needs of regional economies and local employers. At least 60% of grant funds would have been directed to communities outside the seven-county metro area with recipients providing a 50-percent non-state match. The Department of Employment and Economic Development received $1.3 million in requests last year with many more communities interested in accessing the funds. Funding was included in the House omnibus supplemental appropriations bill, but unfortunately was not included in the Senate.

We thank Representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar, and Senator Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids, for authoring this legislation.

Interested in other issues? Visit the Voting Record page.