A complex problem

Two bills introduced in the Minnesota Legislature aim to increase child care access and space across the state.

To Albert Lea Children’s Center Executive Director Sue Loch, however, the legislation does not address the need to pay child care teachers more, which she said is needed to increase child care access.

One bill, authored by Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, and Rep. Jeff Brand, DFL-St. Peter, awards $3 million in grants to Minnesota Initiative Foundations for planning, coordination, training and education to expand child care access. The money is expected to be used to help providers with business improvement planning, quality mentoring and workforce development.

The second bill, authored by Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, and Brand, aims to have more child care spaces through the Child Care Capital Grant Program, which would provide grants to child care providers, local governments and regional economic development organizations in Greater Minnesota to cover up to 50 percent of costs to build, upgrade or expand child care facilities to meet state requirements and increase capacity.

Continue reading the Albert Lea Tribune article.