ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Wednesday, the Senate Jobs and Economic Development Committee heard three bills (SF 1610, SF 1611, and SF 1612) championed by Senator Aric Putnam (DFL-St. Cloud) that would work to solve the childcare crisis in Greater Minnesota and support people and business who do this important work.
“I’ve heard so many stories from parents and providers that make clear the profound and particular childcare crisis we face in Greater Minnesota,” said Senator Putnam. “These bills provide a concrete way to help people develop, expand, and run childcare businesses, and they support the great people who do this work. But just as important, these initiatives will make it easier for us to get back and relieve some of the stress that so many families feel right now. With these three simple bills we have an opportunity to do a tremendous amount of good.”
The first bill heard would appropriate $20 million in 2024 to the Greater Minnesota Child Care Facility Capital Grant Program (SF 1610) to provide matching grants of capital costs to projects with the plan to increase child care capacity in their community. The bill was recommended to pass and referred to the Capital Investment Committee.
The second piece of legislation would appropriate $6 million in 2024 to support the Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SF 1611). The subgrants provided by the Minnesota Initiative Foundation would focus on increasing the supply of quality child care, and providing local training and technical assistance. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill.
The third bill would appropriate $10 million in 2024 in funding for local communities to form partnerships to increase the number of child care providers in the area (SF 1612). The grants would help individual child care providers help address hurdles such as starting and expanding a business, providing training and support, or funding licensing and regulatory requirements. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill.