SAINT PAUL, Minn.— Senator Melisa Franzen, DFL-Edina, was the lead DFL Senator in negotiating legislation to provide additional funding to licensed family and center-based child care providers. This is a much-needed measure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of the package of bills that was passed on today to address the most pressing needs of Minnesota.
The legislation will provide almost $30 million in one-time grants to child care providers who agree to remain open throughout the peacetime public health emergency, prioritize spaces in their program for the children of essential workers, and use health and safety practices that prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a child care environment.
“Providing emergency grants ensures family and child care centers across our state are able to keep their doors open and maintain a high-level of care for our children,” said Sen. Franzen. “As a mother of two small children, I know firsthand how important this funding is for providers to be able to remain open during this pandemic and keep their businesses afloat during these difficult financial times. I applaud the legislature for passing this bipartisan measure and to immediately disburse this emergency relief.”
The grants will be distributed based on the local need for child care services during the peacetime emergency, provider ability to access additional funding sources, and whether the provider would be financially at risk without receiving a grant through this program. Child care grants will also be awarded in a regionally balanced manner, and in a manner that ensures an equitable distribution among provider types.
All grant recipients are eligible to receive a monthly award of $4,500, with programs becoming eligible for an additional $1,000 per month if they serve children during nonstandard hours, children whose first language is not English, or children with special needs. Programs can receive up to an additional $15,500 per month if they are licensed to serve 15 or more children, with their total grant amount being based upon their capacity to serve children during the peacetime emergency.