Kids Can’t Wait Coalition

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Kids Can’t Wait Coalition2020-02-25T14:28:45-06:00

TAKE ACTION!

Please contact your state legislators and legislative leaders and Governor Walz to urge them to fully fund and strengthen the Child Care Assistance Program.

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Kids Can’t Wait is a coalition of nonprofits, faith leaders and businesses advocating for full funding for the Child Care Assistance Program.

Coalition members:

Low-income Minnesota children, parents, and employers all benefit from Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program, a $250 million state/federal partnership that helps 15,000 Minnesota income-eligible working families afford child care expenses for 30,000 children. Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program is a two generation approach to broader economic security — it helps parents get to work and provide for their families and helps children to succeed.  Child Care Assistance is the most essential state support for low-income infants and toddlers, the years when brain development is most rapid, child care is hardest to find and most expensive, and parents have tough decisions to make about their ability to participate in the workforce.

Increased Need, Decreased State Support

The Child Care Assistance Program has never recovered from massive cuts in 2003.  Since then state investment in the Basic Sliding Fee portion of the program has decreased by 37 percent and 5,700 fewer families are served.  About 1,700 families across the state are on waiting lists and many previously eligible working low-income families no longer qualify for the program at all.  Over this same time, reimbursement rates paid to child care providers fell. In 2003, 75% of providers were fully compensated for the care they provided through the program; today that has dropped to just 13% of Family Care providers and 23% of Center providers.

Lack of State Investment Jeopardizes Federal Funding

Minnesota is out of compliance with federal law on the reimbursement rates paid to child care providers, jeopardizing funding. The federal recommendation is that states pay the 75th percentile of current child care market rates for families using the program.  This means that families should be able to use this reimbursement to cover the costs of roughly 3 of every 4 providers in their area, ensuring access and choice.  Today our reimbursement rates sit at the 25th percentile of 2011 market rates, woefully out of step with the current cost of providing child care and with most other states.

The Time to Act is Now

Children and parents can’t wait any longer for increased investments in child care and neither can child care providers, communities, or our state. That’s why the Kids Can’t Wait Coalition, a group of nonprofit, faith and business advocates, are advocating for the Child Care Assistance Program to be fully funded and providers reimbursed at the federally recommended levels so it’s available and easily accessible to all eligible families.

Business owners, child care providers and parents share why they support investment in child care assistance

Nicki Jones, owner of Kuk Sool Won, a martial arts studio in St. Paul:

“We serve wealthy families, middle-class families, and families struggling with the effects of poverty. My customers’ economic health is intimately tied to the cost of child care and the health of my business is directly impacted by those child care costsif a family is paying so much of their income on child care that they can’t take advantage of programs like mine, my business loses customers.”

Toneisha, mother from Minneapolis:

“Without child care assistance, I would not have been able to work or make a living for me and my children. Right now I am a Pre-K teacher and one class away from earning my Associate’s degree, after which I intend to pursue my Bachelor’s. Child care assistance allowed my children to attend a quality child care facility and they are now both in elementary school and a grade level above their peers. When I first got child care assistance, we were new to MN and living in a shelter. Now I am an early educator and almost college graduate. Child care assistance gave the support my girls and I needed when we needed it.”

Karen DeVos, owner, Little Learners Child Care Center in Ada, MN

“Child care is expensive. Especially if you’re looking at early childhood, quality spaces. Children need good, safe options for child care, and families need to be able to be able to pay for it. Child care assistance allows parents to go to work and pay their bills, and then have their children in a safe place where they’re cared for and loved and educated.”

Brittany, parent from Plymouth

“Having child care assistance enabled me to keep my job and able to afford to live. Had I not had assistance I would have had to put my son in a lower quality environment where the level of care would’ve been minimal compared to what he got. Child care assistance allowed me to continue my job and feel good about the care my son received, I continued my career, completed my college degree, and advanced to a position in the corporate office of a Minnesota company.”

LaShonda, Minneapolis:

LaShonda works as a community health worker. To make ends meet, she is also a freelance hair stylist and a caterer. For LaShonda and her family, Northside Child Development Center, the child care center she takes her kids to, is their home basewhere they can all come together to start and end their busy days. Access to affordable child care through the Child Care Assistance Program is critical in supporting her family. Child care access is important to her because it “helps me be able to keep a job and maintain my employment. The staff [at my child care center] are there to support you. It makes my family work.”

Dulce Oliva Monterrubio, owner of Dulceria in Minneapolis:

“As a young mother attending college to improve my prospects of securing financial stability for me and my children, the Child Care Assistance Program made it possible for me to ensure my kids were cared for while I attended school. This grant allowed me to pursue a college degree so I could provide my children with the quality education, safe housing, and invaluable life experiences that they deservelike any other child in our state.”

Lacretia, parent from Minneapolis

Lacretia works as a vocabulary specialist while she finishes her teaching degree. For her, child care assistance is a lifeline: “having child care assistance helps me to be able to go to school and to work. Without it, I couldn’t afford daycare.” Child care assistance has also been critical for the development of her children. “I just want them to be career driven. I want them to be set for the world and understand credit and mortgages. I love that they want to go to college. I just want them to be great in life.”

Julie Noren, owner of Light Dark Landscaping in Minneapolis:

“I am a small business owner and employ a total of 6 people (myself included). As I think about starting, the cost of child care is a large obstacleI’m not sure I can continue to run my business and afford child care. I am also worried for my employees, watching them cobble together child care by family members. Please do not cut funding for the Child Care Assistance Program. Please increase funding for this program, eliminating the waitlist.”

Cayla , parent from Roseville

“I am a single mother of a 3-year-old named Clyde. My take home pay by itself isn’t enough to cover child care expenses, much less any other living expenses, student loans, rent, insurance, and so on. The only way my son is able to attend child care is due to child care assistance. My son is thriving and loves his child care center. If it weren’t for this program, I wouldn’t be able to work. I would be dependent on welfare, and my college degree would be wasted. It would be devastating to my son and me if the funding is cut off.”

WATCH: Parents, providers and business owners share why they support investing in child care assistance

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More working parents share how child care supports their families

I wouldn’t be able to work if I didn’t qualify for Child Care Assistance. Child care assistance helps me reach my personal and professional goals, because I can put my time and energy into advancing my professional goals. I have been with my current company for 1 year, and I will hopefully advance to the Human Resources department after I graduate. This would increase my income by a significant amount, and then I would not need assistance for child care after that. Without this opportunity, my daughter would have a lack of social skills and little to no involvement with kids, and she wouldn’t be going to a 5 star accredited center.

Kylie L., New Brighton

“Without Child Care Assistance, I wouldn’t be able to hold a steady job. It’s one less thing for me to worry about. No matter what obstacle comes my way, I always have safe place to bring my kids where they can learn and be cared for by people who want to see them grow and succeed.”

Parent from Minneapolis who has received assistance for child care
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