RESPONDING TO COVID19 - CHILD CARE AVAILABILITY
Are you a parent or guardian in need of child care?
Are you a parent or guardian in need of child care? The child care landscape has been greatly impacted by this pandemic – whether family members are safe at home and can no longer care for children due to age or an underlying condition or a child care provider closes due to decreased enrollment, financial strain, or public health needs.
In addition to child care resources below, please find this resource guide (Hmong, Somali and Spanish) aimed at helping families find supports related to COVID-19, including economic, child care, mental health, and other supports. The Children's Cabinet worked with agencies to develop Parent and Family Public Health Guidance to support families this summer in keeping children active, social, and healthy.
FINDING OPEN CHILD CARE: If you are a parent or guardian in need of child care call the Child Care Aware parent line at 1.888.291.9811 to be directed to available licensed child care providers or use the map below.
Thousands of child care providers have reported since the beginning of the state’s COVID response that they are open to families. Families can view current providers using the map below.
COST: Child care providers will charge tuition that varies with their program policies and business practices. Many providers are working to accommodate financial considerations of families during this time of emergency. Families in need of financial assistance may still apply for and eligible families may receive Child Care Assistance and Early Learning Scholarships. The Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota’s Bridge to Benefits screening tool can be used to help you determine potential eligibility and information needed to apply for these and other public programs that support economic stability. Families may also call 1-888-291-9811 for assistance with financial resources to afford care.
PRIORITIZING CRITICAL SECTORS. Many families working in sectors critical to our state’s fight against COVID-19 continue to need child care so they can go to work. As a result, Governor Walz has encouraged child care providers to prioritize essential workers of critical sectors during this peacetime emergency.
SUMMER SCHOOL AGE CARE IN SCHOOL SETTINGS. During the summer months, districts are highly encouraged to continue care to the extent possible. Summer programming and education sites should plan, advertise, and implement options that prioritize the enrollment of children of families according to this guidance. Based on community workforce needs and local staffing and space considerations, summer programming and education sites are strongly encouraged to then enroll children of workers in Tier 2, followed by Tier 3. As capacity allows and MDH requirements are implemented, summer programming and education sites may choose to provide care and programming to any child. Districts may charge fees for this care just as they normally would during the summer months.
EMPLOYERS: Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan sent a letter to employers sharing resources created by the state to help support child care needs during the pandemic.