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Child Care

Affordable, dependable child care allows children to thrive, parents to get to work or school, and employers to find and retain workers. But for too many Minnesota families, child care is out of reach due to high costs and long waiting lists for child care assistance.

Our analysis and advocacy focuses on expanding Minnesota's child care assistance so that parents can find the child care that meets their needs, children are in safe, reliable care, and to strengthen Minnesota's workforce.

Research

March 2024

Great Start Scholarships are an innovative policy solution for affordable child care

When Minnesotans have affordable child care, children can thrive, families are more economically secure, and employers can find and retain the workers they need. Great Start Affordability Scholarships are a new policy solution designed to lower monthly child care costs for families across Minnesota.

January 2024

Who receives the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit?

This brief takes a look at Minnesota’s Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which is one part of a spectrum of state investments to bring down the cost of child care, which also includes child care assistance, early learning scholarships, Head Start, and pre-K. The full version of this brief includes a table with data specific to each Minnesota county and the state as a whole.

September 2023

2023 investments in child care pave the way for a brighter future

During the 2023 Legislative Session, policymakers took important steps to address the urgent child care needs of Minnesotans. This issue brief looks closely at the budget and policy changes made to support the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), Early Learning Scholarships, the child care workforce, and child care providers.

August 2021

Minnesota’s new FY 2022-23 budget takes important steps toward the recovery, falls short of transformational change

Policymakers had a critical task this session: to support and care for those struggling the most and start to build a more equitable recovery. Some important investments were made in the FY 2022-23 budget, but it ultimately fell short of what’s fully needed in this moment and for the long term.

Child Care Blog Posts

May 14, 2024

Decisions in session’s final days should strengthen health care and child care for Minnesotans

In 2023, policymakers made transformational budget investments for the well-being of Minnesotans and their families....

April 17, 2024

Powerful stories show child care is unaffordable for many; Great Start Scholarships are a solution

This legislative session, families, lawmakers, advocates, and more have drawn attention to child care affordability as an urgent problem that requires solutions. Earlier this session, a hearing was held at the Minnesota House of Representatives where a number of testifiers spoke to the struggles with affordability they face. Parents and providers alike are looking for policy solutions; here are a few of their stories.

May 11, 2023

Cooperation paves the way for important investments in affordable child care

With a historic surplus of $17.5 billion for FY 2024-25 and $5.4 billion structural balance for FY 2026-27 , Minnesota...

February 01, 2023

Governor Walz releases FY 2024-25 budget priorities

In his proposal for the two-year FY 2024-25 budget cycle, Governor Tim Walz proposes $11.2 billion in additional funding for public services, with the largest amount of new dollars going toward education, economic development, and health and human services. He also proposes $5.4 billion in tax reductions in FY 2024-25, with the biggest component being a one-time tax rebate. Read more in our blog.

Our Child Care Policy Work

issues > child care spotlight

Making affordable child care available to families

We support policies to ensure that more Minnesota families have affordable, reliable child care that meets their needs and supports their pathways to economic security. The final budget agreed to by Governor Tim Walz and the 2019 Minnesota Legislature includes important steps to bring child care assistance in Minnesota up to federal standards, which will make child care assistance work better for families experiencing homelessness and ensure families moving to another county don't lose their assistance.

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Issues