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Minnesota Initiative Foundations to Serve Emergency Child Care Need in Greater MN and Think Small to Serve in Metro

Minnesota Initiative Foundations to Serve Emergency Child Care Need in Greater MN and Think Small to Serve in Metro

3/26/2020 10:00:16 AM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced statewide efforts by his Children’s Cabinet to drive resources to the child care providers that are critical to our state’s emergency response.

Six Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs) will launch an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide financial support to licensed child care providers in Greater Minnesota serving families of essential workers needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They join Think Small who stepped up last week to issue grants to family child care programs in the metro area serving families of emergency workers.

“As our Administration responds to COVID-19, child care is critical to supporting our workforce and making sure kids have a safe place to be,” said Governor Tim Walz. “While we work with our legislative partners to provide support needed, we must take immediate action to bridge child care providers relief. That’s why I’m proud of this partnership that recognizes how safe and stable child care is essential to keeping Minnesotans safe and healthy.”

“We have asked our child care providers to stay open to serve the families of emergency workers and they have responded with passion, commitment, and love for their communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “A special thank you to the Minnesota Initiative Foundations and Think Small for standing up for our littlest Minnesotans and putting their resources on the line to provide a bridge of relief to our child care providers statewide.”

Around the world, as countries and states respond to COVID-19, health care and emergency response sectors have identified child care as a critical component. Estimates are that one-third of the health care workforce has young children. In Minnesota, there are approximately 420,000 children under the age of 12 belonging to the state’s essential workforce. Of these, over 130,000 are in a household where all available parents are employed in an essential sector.

The six MIFs committed $50,000 each for a total of $300,000 dedicated for Greater Minnesota child care providers and are working to secure additional resources from other partners. Think Small has issued $100,000 to date.

“We were proud to answer the Governor’s call and work together to support the child care businesses that are critically needed for our emergency response,” stated Tony Sertich, President of the Northland Foundation.

Licensed family- and center-based providers caring for children of emergency and essential workers are invited to apply for grants. The Minnesota Initiative Foundations will award grants of up to $3,000 in their respective service regions. To be eligible, providers must be caring for the children (ages birth to 5 years) of essential and emergency workers. Think Small’s similar grant opportunity is for providers within the seven-county metropolitan area.

For more information about the Minnesota Initiative Foundations or this grant program, visit http://greaterminnesota.net/childcare or to learn about Think Small and its program visit https://www.thinksmall.org .

The Governor’s Children’s Cabinet is leading the child care response with its agency partners. More information on the response and available resources for providers and families can be found here: mn.gov/childcare.

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