Minnesota receives $135 million to assist little one care amid a scarcity

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) – Minnesota continues to suffer from a lack of childcare, only compounded by the pandemic.

Greater Minnesota lost more than 20,000 childcare places between 2000 and 2020, according to a February report by the Center for Rural Policy and Development.

“2020 was a particularly difficult year for childcare,” says the report. “When businesses and schools closed, everything suddenly went home. Childcare providers quickly adapted to new rules that allowed them to remain open to caring for the children of important workers, even when faced with a significant loss of income were . “

After a difficult year, the state is receiving federal aid to help ailing providers stay afloat.

On Thursday morning, Governor Tim Walz announced in an emailed press release that the state would receive $ 135 million federal funding to support childcare.

“The childcare industry has been critical to our COVID-19 response and will help fuel our economic recovery,” said Walz. “These funds will go directly to childcare workers and working families to help alleviate the difficulties they have faced over the past year.”

The new funding comes on top of the $ 48 million the state received through CARES ACT last May.

Of the $ 135 million, $ 87 million is for eligible child carers.

Monthly payments can cover lost revenue caused by temporary closings due to a COVID-19 outbreak. It can also be used to pay employees with overtime and incentive bonuses, as well as to cover cleaning and hygiene costs.

In addition, $ 35 million complements the Basic Sliding Fee program, which families can use to pay for childcare. The governor’s spokesman said many key workers remain on the program’s waiting list and the new funding will allow more families to be served.

According to the press release, $ 5 million will provide grants, loans and advice to launch new childcare programs. It should also help to ensure that closed providers are reopened and existing providers become sustainable.

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