Senate DFLers know that access to affordable childcare is critical to supporting working families and communities both in normal times and in times of crisis. Even before this pandemic, Minnesota has been facing a shortage of available and affordable child care, especially in rural Minnesota, where there has been a significant loss of providers in recent years.
A chronic issue that many families and providers face is our state’s low reimbursement rates for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). This program supports access to affordable, quality child care with less need for families to pay out of pocket. It also makes sure providers get the support they need to continue serving low-income families.
Federal law requires maximum child care assistance reimbursement rates to reflect the most recent market rate survey. A bill heard this week would set rates at the 30th percentile, increasing from the current 25th percentile, for each new market survey. If we do not update these reimbursement rates we risk being out of federal compliance and forfeiting federal dollars.
There is more work to do to stabilize Minnesota’s child care industry. Senate DFLers are committed to pursuing other relief efforts that will be required to ensure our families have access to care and providers get the support they need to stay in business. (SF 1956)