Senator Hauschild Presents Bill to Tackle High Cost of Childcare

Great Start Affordability Scholarship Program would help Minnesota families afford childcare

[SAINT PAUL, MN] — To address the high costs of childcare facing families across the state, Senator Grant Hauschild (DFL-Hermantown) presented legislation Thursday to establish a Great Start Affordability Program that would make sure no families in Minnesota pay more than 7% of their annual income on childcare.

“In every corner of our state, Minnesotans are struggling to afford the cost of high-quality childcare with families often paying more than the cost of a mortgage or a college tuition on childcare,” said Sen. Hauschild. “If we want our state to be the best place to raise a family, we have to make high-quality childcare affordable for our families and reduce the financial burden they face.”

Currently, the annual cost of infant care in Minnesota is $16,000, ranking 4th highest in the nation, and 75% of families make too much to qualify for childcare assistance, Head Start, early learning scholarships, school-based pre-k, or the child tax credit. Senator Hauschild’s legislation, S.F. 3790, creates the Great Start Affordability Scholarship program to help families with children under the age of 5 afford childcare by building on existing early learning scholarships and the Great Start Task Force recommendations to streamline early learning and childcare.

“We want Minnesota to rank high on national lists, but not when it comes to the cost of raising a family,” added Sen. Hauschild. “It’s time for us to ease the financial burden facing families and make childcare affordable for all Minnesotans.”

Scholarships would be available for families making less than 150% of the state median income–which is about $174,000 for a family of four–who are not receiving other childcare assistance or an early learning scholarship. It would provide quality and affordable childcare to up to 85% of families with children 0-5, help to keep Minnesota employees in the workforce, and use existing infrastructure to cut down on administrative costs and complexity.

The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

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Senator Grant Hauschild represents Senate District 3 – the Arrowhead, Iron Range, and Northland. He is vice chair of the Labor Committee, and serves on the Education Policy Committee, Environment, Climate, and Legacy Committee, and Taxes Committee.

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