Small Business Letter to HHS Conference Committee Re: Childcare

Final Letter, May 1st 2019

Members of the Health and Human Services Conference Committee,

We, undersigned business owners, urge you to fully fund Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program.

An inability to access affordable child care is one of the biggest factors keeping parents out of the workforce.  Unemployment is at a historic low and the need for a trained, committed workforce is at a premium. This shortage of workers constraints our state’s economic growth.

A complete freeze of the Child Care Assistance Program, as proposed, harms 30,000 children and 15,000 families, but it hurts our state’s economic well-being and Minnesota businesses.  Without full investment in the Child Care Assistance Program, we can’t have a reliable workforce.

Currently, almost 2,000 families are languishing on the waitlist for the state Child Care Assistance Program, because policymakers haven’t funded it adequately. The Governor and House budgets would take more than half of those families off of the waiting list.

The Minnesota Legislature should eliminate the waiting list for childcare assistance, increase child care assistance reimbursement rates to keep providers in business, and help address the child care shortage.

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