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Nov. 13 House Children & Families Finance & Policy Committee – The Uptake | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Notes by Cirien Saadeh

  • Rep. Pinto convenes the meeting
    • Quorum is present 
    • “We made some really transformational investments…signed by the Governor in a number of areas within our committee’s jurisdiction. That included helping Minensotans experiencing homelessness, helping Minnesotans experiencing food insecurity, helping Minnesotans experiencing economic instability – those with kids especially – and making sure that our programs to address those needs are really enhanced.”
    • “We know that there’s more to do in those areas.” 
    • Says today’s focus is in an additional area: “childcare and early learning” on hearing about the impacts of passed legislation and on gaps that remain re childcare and early learning 
    • “We had discussed in the spring that early care and learning is a crisis throughout the state. We’re going to hear more about the ways that it has been a crisis for families in terms of being able to afford and access those services. We’re also going to talk a little bit later about what a squeeze it is for people providing this most critical service in our society.”
    • Discusses gaps in early child care coverage, as well as implications and impacts on employers
    • Names three goals for the discussion: affordability, access, and compensation 
    • Discusses the work that happened during the 2023 legislative session around access “investing in different programs to address childcare and early learning, including child care assistance…” and compensation
      • Says affordability for families was not addressed much in the 2023 legislative session, outside of child and dependent care tax credit legislation heard in a different committee that “did not end up advancing” 

Rep. Brian Daniels (GOP – Faribault)

  • Asks if Rep. Pinto is aware of an article published in the “Minneapolis Tribune” on Nov. 3 re neglect and murder of young people – “Is that something we can put our attention to since we are in the business of keeping the people safe?”

Rep. Pinto thanks Rep. Daniels for bringing up the article series “In Harm’s Way” and encourages members to read the articles

  • Says committee will “certainly be considering proposals regarding child protection” and that he’s happy to work with Rep. Daniels and others on those proposals 
  • Opens up committee to testifiers 

Testifiers

Jessica Gilder, Initiative Foundation, Initiative Foundation 

  • Working at the Initiative Foundation as the Childcare Solutions Program Officer, formerly worked as a childcare provider and worked in the early childcare industry 
  • “I come before you today as a mother, a grandmother, and an advocate for middle-class working families seeking affordable childcare. I ask that you also come before and work with each of us on childcare solutions for middle-class families.”
  • “The lack of quality childcare for middle-class families is not new. Many years ago when I was a young parent I was seeking quality affordable childcare and my family didn’t qualify for childcare assistance. I worked in the early childhood field and my husband was a blue-collar worker – entry level. We decided to start a home childcare. In our business we operated, we served Headstart families in a partnership program, and they were working families. When Headstart funding ended we no longer had families that could afford the childcare and the quality that I had. They left and I also left the business, unfortunately.” 
  • Worked in human services, in case management, with clients working towards employment, many women, “who wanted to work but could not afford childcare.” 
  • “Middle class working families still need better solutions.” 
  • “I come here today because I recognize the need to speak for all people who are affected by the lack of affordable, sustainable childcare. Quality affordable childcare is for everyone, not just the families who need it, for early childhood educators and care providers who deserve to be paid accordingly for the essential services that they provide. Quality affordable child care is for employers who are seeking employees working in all-sectors, all-regions, with varied shifts throughout our state. Quality affordable childcare is for all families, is for everyone who wants to build a stronger economy so that we can also all thrive.” 

 Carson Starkey, parent of two daughters (4-years old & 1-year old) 

  • “I’m of the opinion that it defies common sense that folks don’t have public help for child education until kids reach the age of 4. Babies and toddlers are learning, their care and education is expensive, childcare programs can be run like a McDonalds in some kind of race to the bottom but I don’t think that is a good model.” 
  • “Sure these places are businesses but they are also community institutions and the people that work at them are contributing to raising our children. I think their work needs to be rewarded as such.” 
  • Says costs of early childcare can “drown young families when they’re first getting established” 
  • Says his one-year daughter’s early childcare educators “don’t get compensated at amounts anywhere near those folks who educate my four-year old and neither group is adequately compensated, in my opinion, for the invaluable work they do for our society.” 
  • Urges the committee to respond to two issues: crushing costs of early childcare and under-compensation for childcare workers “helping to raise and educate our babies.” 

Tracey Hill

  • Worked in early childcare for 18 years, advocating a grandmother 
  • Received a grant for her grandbaby to afford early childcare until grand-daughter is 4 
  • “I couldn’t afford to send my kids to daycare and work in a daycare as well. It just wouldn’t have worked without the childcare assistance that I received as well.” 
  • Says she appreciates that the grants (like the one her grand daughter received) supported by the committee
  • “Early childhood is something near and dear to my heart, and I feel like we should pour into our kids early in life especially if we want to see things turn around for them.” 
  • Says she now works in a high school and she sees the impacts that a lack of early childcare education has on those students

Brittany Kjenaas, Parent, Mountain Iron

  • Has an “extremely smart” 3-year old daughter, “I blame it on her early childcare center.” 
  • Says the education she is getting at the early childcare center is “incredible” despite closer options to home, “but they’re not high-quality options and sadly I would have concerns for my child’s safety if I sent her to one of them. Even just a small dip in quality can really be scary, which is why I believe so strongly that high-quality child care should be available for all Minnesota families. Unfortunately as you all are aware that’s far from our reality.”
  • Says her husband her waited until their 30s to have a child due to the cost of childcare
  • “We pay more for childcare than we do our mortgage and there’s no way we could double that and still afford to live.” 
  • “The only way to reduce costs for families is through public funding. Childcare providers are operating as leanly as they possibly can without compromising quality. There are no cuts to be made. In fact, to keep quality high families are being asked to pay even more.”
  • Says public funding would allow her family “to make choices again, to buy healthy food at the grocery store instead of prepackaged stuff, we’d have time to make healthy meals because my husband wouldn’t have to work overtime to play catch-up on our bills, we’d have more time with our daughter.” 
  • “Every Minnesota family deserves to afford their lives and making childcare affordable is a concrete and necessary step to making that possible.” 

Shawntel Gruba, child care center owner and director, Iron Range 

  • Worked in early childcare for 20+ years before opening up her own facility in Nov. 2018 “with a mission to provide high-quality child care in a safe and nurturing environment”
  • “We work incredibly hard to live out that mission every single day because we see what a difference it makes in the lives of our children and their families, but providing high-quality child care is incredibly expensive.” 
  • Says she recently notified families that rates are increasing “to make ends meet because the cost of everything has gone up.”
  • “Everytime we raise rates, we lose families because they have to weigh the costs. At one point do they not make enough money to pay for child care, at one point do they decide that in order to make ends meet they need to find a child care option that has much lower quality. This is a horrible decision to be forced to make.”
  • “Child care has been underfunded for decades and we have a lot of catching up to do and we have a lot of change that needs to happen before catching up.”
    • Names compensation rates as one area that needs attention 

Nicole Flick, owns a childcare center outside the Fargo-Moorhead area, leader with Kids Count On Us

  • “If you have a leaky roof, do you just patch it and hope for the best or do you stop the leak, fix the problem, and prevent future damage. This is it. It’s now or never. Because I can tell you that the childcare providers won’t be here when you finally put the preventative measures in place and it will have been all for nothing and the damage will have already been done.” 
  • Says she’s grateful for steps taken in the 2023 legislative session towards affordability and access to early childcare education – “That was a decent patch on a big leak for the Twin Cities,” but says that the help did not make it to rural Minnesota 
  • Says parents are choosing to have a parent stay home with their child(ren) instead of enrolling in early childcare education – “You are losing your workforce everyday.” 
  • “I’m charging [people] what I have to, to survive. So now I’m in this cyclone of doom.” 
  • Says she cannot afford to keep her staff since she cannot afford to pay them without more enrollees 
  • “No one wants to pay $17-$21,000 a year when they can stay home instead and figure out a one-parent household income.” 
  • Says a “cycle vacuum where only low-income or extremely high-income families” can afford childcare in Minnesota 

Fenessa Robertson, child care center director

  • Shares three examples from families she’s connected with 
  • About the first family interested in enrolling their child at her child care center: “When we started talking about tuition, their faces fell.”
    • Says this is a common experience for families who earn too much to quality for child care assistance or scholarships but not enough to afford child care
    • Says she hears similarly from her own teacher-parents as well “which is beyond scary because if I lose my teachers, it’s because they cannot afford child care and that’s even more families left in the lurch that cannot afford it”
  • Shares that for a family at her school with 3 enrolled children the cost is over $57000
    • Compares cost to UMN tuition which was approximately $16000 this past year – 
    • Says of the family with 3 children, “[Both parents work] but I honestly don’t know how much longer they can afford that child care per year, which causes them to definitely fall behind on payments which is hard as they rely on us and we try to give them grace when I can.”
  • “However we’re partners in the childcare and education of the children, but we’re not bean counters. We have to manage our expenses too, which we do try to give them grace and allow them to play catch-up, but it is becoming harder so for moments of time they do have to cancel care and stay at home for a little bit.”
  • Speaks about her own experiences with child care costs over the last 3 years that I faced as a single mother. “When I was sitting down looking at my budget, I realized I could not afford child care and I did not qualify for any assistance.” 
  • “Quality child care is not a luxury nor is it nice to have. I feel it’s an essential for parents and for children.” 

Mallory Plotz, child care advocate and parent

  • “A year ago I started the process of talking to my legislators about the broken child care system. Although the field of child care education is still far from receiving the pay they deserve, I was so grateful to see the continued support through the Great Start Compensation Payments for the child care providers across our state.”
  • “It was also a relief to hear that low-income families have more support with the much-needed changes that were made to child care assistance and early learning scholarships programs. However, as a middle class couple with two young children in need of child care, my husband and I have had many struggles with finding and affording quality child care in the past almost-five years. With a combined salary of almost $110,000, which is not far over the median household income in Minnesota, we have faced many child care challenges. As a full-time working parent of two young children, my husband and I could only afford to have one of our girls in a child care center for preschool and only 3 days per week at $57/day. Our youngest was home with my mom each day who chose to retire early to support us because even if we could afford to put both of our children into child care, there was no spots available for infants and toddlers anywhere near us at the time.”
    • Says after a family emergency, youngest daughter had to start attending a family child care they found with a spot available 
    • “Even though this means two drop-off and pickup locations for our children, in order to afford this my husband and I literally took out the emergency fund that we had set aside and we planned to pull from that money each month to afford the child care expenses that we were taking on. To our horror the Friday before touring the new family child care provider’s home, our 18-month old toddler died in her sleep [two months ago]. With her autopsy very recently finalized last week, we are now learning her cause of death was undetermined and classified as SUDC, Sudden Unexpected Death of a Child.” 
    • Says she is sure the legislature is shocked by the death of her child, hopes the legislature is also shocked by their child care assistance 
  • “It is clear that Minnesota families still need your help affording quality child care. Please pay attention to these challenges and offer more widespread support.”

Rep. Pinto responds to testifiers 

  • Thanks testifiers
  • Gives his condolences (and condolences of the committee) to Mallory Plotz and her family 
  • Says the committee has heard from a number of individuals with diverse perspectives from varied locations with varied experiences
  • Opens up questions for testifiers 

No questions for testifiers from committee members. 

Rep. Pinto calls up the next speaker

  • Says he’s asked the next speaker to answer this “central” question: “Wait a second, how can it be that this service is so expensive for families and yet it pays so little for people who do the work? What is up with that?” 

Suzanne Pearl, Minnesota Director of First Children’s Finance, a nonprofit and community development financial institution  

  • FCF founded in Minneapolis 30 years ago, now spread to other states, but headquartered in Minnesota – Minnesota program largest in the organization
  • “We focus on the business side of child care, our mission is to build the supply and financial sustainability of excellent child care. So when there are many in this room who will talk about quality and child development, I’m here to focus on the financial side.”
  • Shares a slide focusing on affordability – says one of the other testifiers may have had more updated numbers
  • “Child care comes when most families are at the beginning of their – let’s say – earning potential. They’re young and this is one of the largest expenditures they will ever has at the time that they are least able to afford it. 
  • “Child care is a broken business model. There’s a disconnect there. Families cannot afford child care. We hear that time and again. Child care businesses, however, have narrow profit margins and this is a generalization – not going to lie, there is a few that are doing well – but by and large child care businesses operate on paper thin margins. At the same time child care workers are among the lowest-paid in Minnesota’s workforce. Why? But what it results in is the actual costs of providing child care is more than families alone can afford.” 
  • Says that every 3 years the Department of Human Services “commissions what they call a Cost of Care Study” – the report went live on Nov. 13 – First Children’s Finance created the report this year for the first time, but the report was new to Pearl 
  • Study surveyed nearly 1100 child care providers (850 were family child care providers, 240 child care centers) and business interviews with more than 30 child care providers
  • “As of last week there was about 6000 child care programs across Minnesota, just over 1700 child care centers. That’s from publicly-available DHS data.” 
  • Explains that personnel expenses (on the slide above) are basically health care – not all child care workers have employee-sponsored health care, however
    • “This is the average. Not everybody has it, some do. This is the average cost.” 
  • Explains the other costs shown on the Expense Breakdown slide. 
  • Says that net revenue may vary between rural, small town, large down, and urban communities but “expenses are fairly consistent across different size communities across Minnesota.”  
  • Notes that child care workers’ average hours worked/week is 65 hours/week 
  • Notes that child care workers are dealing with multiple different schedules plus “[getting] the supplies, [buying] the food, [taking] the training”
  • “We’ve been saying this for years, about 70% of child care expenses, it’s labor, it’s the people who are caring for your children. And that’s the bulk of the cost.” 
  • “What you’re all thinking, I’m just going to say this, the state mandates how many people, educators are in a classroom and this is the cost to cover that.” 
  • Notes that not all child care centers employ each position and not every position is full-time, averages taken for the slide
  • Says the table “doesn’t really cover the actual cost, the cost is still there for infant care. In rural areas the cost to a business to provide infant care is $20,000 a year.”
  • “We often, in our work with child care providers, businesses are basically trying to make this work for everyone. They’re trying to…families can only pay so much and they have ratios as far as child safety and quality care that they need to meet so the phrase that we often use is when putting together your budget is, ‘you’re going to lose money on infant care, you’re going to break even on toddlers, and you need those pre-school and school age kids to subsidize the cost of care for the infants.’ Those are the calculations that business owners are making all the time.” 
  • “That is just a basic overview of what the cost is to provide child care.”

Rep. Pinto asks a question on annual per-child cost slide

  • “My understanding is the infant rate is artificially a little bit low because it’s being subsidized and then potentially that means other rates are higher because it’s (?) trying to make it be that families can receive the care they need. Am I right in kinda understanding that?

Suzanne Pearl 

Yes. 

Rep. Natalie Zeleknikar (GOP – Fredenberg Township)

  • “You mentioned that you weren’t going to lie, that some are doing really well. Is that in a certain part of the state? Single-entity, multiple entities…Can you define what that means?”

Suzanne Pearl 

  • Cannot define it, “the clients we work with are not those, but I am aware of some programs who serve clientele that can afford that expense. Honestly I cannot say I know more than a handful of them. I don’t think that that’s anywhere near a significant amount of child care businesses.”

Rep. Zeleznikar

  • “That was my sense too.” 
  • “We passed an initiative, an expansion of the school-based programs for pre-k. Do you see that creating a void for the staffing ratios and the revenue stability for existing free-standing centers?”
  • Asks if non-school affiliated child care centers will be viable for family center level and child care center levels
    • “Do you know the impact, have you analyzed that?”

Rep. Pinto

  • Asks to clarify the question, “Do you mean state support, without support for infant and toddler care, if all there is is school-based pre-k? Or are you also talking about if there is also infant and toddler care?”

Rep. Zeleznikar

  • Says she’s asking about impacts of legislation for the pre-k, if the 4-year olds move from family center child care to child center child care “for the programs we initiated.” 
  • “What is the impact on the stabilization financially for the family child care centers or the child care center that is not affiliated with a school program, because what I heard her say is they don’t make any money on infants, they make a titch more for toddlers, and they start to make money at 3-4. If those 3 or 4 year olds are moving out of the model, my concern is what is the financial stability and you sound like you’re an expert?”

Suzanne Pearl

  • “The way that I’m going to answer that is, it’s a real concern among the child care providers that we work with.”
  • “The growth of the voluntary preschool program is a concern. It is definitely a concern within the provider community.” 

Rep. Zeleknikar

  • “For the last two months I’ve been doing focus groups with child care centers and family child care and their concern is elevated right now.”
    • Says wage increases and unemployment insurance passage for educators are impacting employees and employers at child care centers
  • Concerned about the 1000 lost child care centers in rural Minnesota, and the impact that this will have on the workforce 

Suzanne Pearl 

  • “Some of the increases in CCAP rates, the great start compensation payments, are still being rolled out. We haven’t done an analysis on those types of questions as the policies haven’t been fully implemented yet. Our business is to help child care businesses stay in business in the place where families need them to be. So as issues come up we will be happy to bring them forward.” 

Rep. Nathan Coulter (DFL – Bloomington) 

  • Asks Pearl to detail occupancy costs as it’s related to “capital costs, specific investments in facilities and things like that” 

Suzanne Pearl 

  • “It’s oftentimes rent, it’s maintenance, deferred maintenance.” 
  • “This is one of the areas that is a barrier not only for centers but also for family child care in that facilities are hard to come by and they’re expensive. Particularly in Greater Minnesota.” 

Rep. Nathan Coulter (DFL – Bloomington) 

  • “I wanted to raise that issue because I think this is something that I’ve been thinking a lot about in terms of the costs of doing business and the costs of making this something that is sustainable because there are these start-up costs but there are always these ongoing costs as well.” 
  • Says wage numbers for child care workers shown in the slides are “basically making minimum wage” 

Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL – Eden Prairie)

  •  “I have done a lot of calculations over the past few weeks just in terms of the 7% of annualized income that is supposed  to be going towards child care and no more than that, that’s what the Federal Department of Health and Human Services have set as the ideal rate. So I was looking at the chart that you provided…the child care center’s annual per child cost…if you take any of those numbers and you divide them by .07 then you get a very big number that most Minnesotans do not make in order to pay only 7% of their annualized income.” 
  • “You’d have to go all the way up to $297,000 for a family to not spend more than 7% of their income in a rural area. It’s $340,000 annually in the urban areas. And those numbers, Minnesotans don’t make that much money.”
  • Says public investment is needed

Rep. Liz Lee (DFL – St. Paul) 

  • Asks Pearl to explain the CDFI nature of her nonprofit and some of the unique challenges faced by child care centers in comparison to normal small businesses looking for financing 

Suzanne Pearl 

  • “We’re a Community Development Financial Institution which means our mandate, in terms of being CDFI registered, is to provide financing…we’re the only CDFI in the country whose entire portfolio is childcare businesses, so we lend to low-to-moderate income borrowers who, in this case, are childcare businesses.”
  • “The reason that exist as a CDFI is, it’s really hard for a childcare business to walk into a bank with a business plan that says ‘I’m looking for a loan,” so they come to us.”

Rep. Liz Lee

  • “For folks wanting to get into this really difficult business, what resources do you offer?”

Suzanne Pearl 

  • “We focus on the business side of childcare, our lending, our loan fund provides any number of small business loan products. We’re an SBA lender as well. A USDA lender in Greater Minnesota.” 
  • “On the business development side, we do any number of free develop-approved online trainings. When I say develop-approved, that’s the State of Minnesota’s professional development system: childcare providers are required to take a certain number of professional development hours.”

Rep. Amanda Hemmingsen-Jaeger (DFL – Woodbury) 

  • Asks Pearl to define the difference between family childcare and childcare center 

Suzanne Pearl 

  • “Licensed family childcare is mostly located within a home, it doesn’t have to be.”
    • Limit of usually 12 children, sometimes 14 children
  • “Childcare centers are not home-based and have different staffing ratios.”

Rep. Amanda Hemmingsen-Jaeger

  • Asks if similar data on revenue-expense data exists for child care centers as it does for family childcare

Suzanne Pearl 

  • “I don’t know that, possibly. This report was just released.” 

Rep. Amanda Hemmingsen-Jaeger

  • On the cost per child for child care centers, asks if Pearl has similar data on family childcare 

Suzanne Pearl 

  • “We don’t,” because of how data was collected. 

Rep. Heather Keeler (DFL – Moorhead) 

  • Asks for demographic clarifications 
  • “What are the population breakdowns?”
  • Disappointed that DHS “didn’t even acknowledge any of our tribal nations. The way that we do childcare with our tribal nations is extremely different and so I know that we break it down by town and then by region. The problem with doing that is that it divides our tribal nations sometimes. Again, and I’ve been saying this in a lot of spaces, making us invisible is the number one sign of racism and I am tired of coming to these meetings and saying that we care about all of Minnesota and now understanding that we have 11 sovereign nations here. And then lumping us together in Greater Minnesota and not even, like you pulled your data from DHS. So if we’re going to do other conversations, we need to grasp our entire state as the state that it is. We don’t dissect Minnesota just as these areas and these towns.”

Suzanne Pearl 

  • Says she can follow-up with the definitions re demographic areas

Rep. Heather Keeler

  • Asks if a DHS representative can come up and answer that question 
  • “I think it’s important that we know. The difference between a 4000 community and a 25000 community makes a difference in what all these numbers mean.”
  • “Somebody has to know what these breakdowns are and the fact that it wasn’t identified in the report, I’m sorry I’m not just going to wait for somebody to send it to me.” 

Rep. Pinto

  • Asks if anyone is present during committee hearing to answer the question

Nick Demm, MN DHS

  • “I don’t have those definitions on me.” – says he’ll follow-up with those who worked on the report 

Rep. Pinto

  • Reminds Demm that the committee also wants a breakdown re Tribal Nations

Rep. Daniels

  • “A lot of this is nothing new.”
  • “I’m speaking as a grandparent of 7 children.” 
  • Says when he got married, his wife & him decided that his wife would stay home with kids and quit her job because of the costs of childcare, “and lo and behold within a month we had 6 or 7 other children.”
  • Says he’s thinking about “all the taxes that were raised this year” 

Rep. Pinto moves onto a proposal from Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn 

Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn 

  • “What we’re discussing today is actively in the works in the lead up to this next session.” 
  • Says she’s proud of work done by the legislature during the 2023 session
  • “We’re working hand in hand to create a bicameral proposal that will benefit more families across the state.”
  • Proposed title: “‘Great Start Affordability program’… continues our work…on the expanded Great Start Childcare Tax Credit that did not make it to the finish line last year.” 
  • “This is an alternative way in lieu of a tax credit to get much needed dollars back in the hands of Minnesota families and address the costs of childcare. Great Start Affordability subsidies are designed on a sliding scale in terms of annualized income and number and age of children.”
  • Aims to keep costs under 7% of a family’s annualized income 

Sen. Grant Hauschild (DFL – Hermantown)

  • Says he keeps hearing “about the struggles that families are facing with childcare.”
  • “It’s by far in the top 3 issues that I hear about on a day-to-day basis.”
  • Says prospective employers want to open “pretty large businesses…that are facing big challenges in opening because of housing and childcare”
  • “Childcare, as we’ve heard in all of the previous testimony, is clearly a market failure.” 
  • Says legislature did a lot last session, “but we also need to support middle-class families who are struggling to make ends meet”
  • “Making the economics work in our rural communities is just, frankly, harder.” 

Discussion on Proposal

Rep. Pinto notes that the proposal is not yet in bill form

Rep. Keeler 

  • “Did you talk to the Chamber about this?”

Rep. Kotyza-Witthuhn 

Rep. Keeler 

  • “One of the things I’ve been working on for 3 years is kinda similar to, Kentucky did a bill kinda braiding these different worlds together. Because I think when we look at affordability, it’s not just the parent and the state’s obligation to help our workforce.”
  • “We go to daycare so our parents can go to work, yet the Chamber is nowhere in here and all of us go to work for most of the businesses in this state. So I think we’re missing this braided strand.” 

Rep. Pinto 

  • “There certainly is a need (to continue the conversation.” 

Rep. Zeleznikar

  • “Childcare is a very important thing to me, granted my kids were in family childcare and center childcare quite a few years ago.”
  • “This is the number one thing I hear about for all of Northeastern Minnesota and for everybody I know who lives across the state. So I think it’s important that we do it.”
  • “I think one of the things that we’re not talking about is, when you look – I’ve read a tremendous amount of time reading the statutes for childcare. What we require, the requirements for family childcare… have to be analyzed because mandates costs money.” 

Rep. María Ísa Perez-Vega

  • “I want to make sure that we get a vibe of including workforce policy with childcare policy.”
  • “If we are providing project development that is coming from our workforce throughout this entire state, there has to be implementation that if you got a job, that job is also going to supply some of that bread, some of that funding for you to be able to keep that job so your kid has a great upbringing.”

Rep. Coulter

  • Says he’s been working on licensing and statute issues and says that Rep. Zeleznikar “isn’t entirely wrong”
    • Says he’s happy to partner to do this work
  • “At the end of the day we do need to recognize we do need to make a stronger community investment, whatever that community means, in what really is an issue of community success and stability.” 

Rep. Lee

  • “Commends the authors” for moving away from a tax credit model

Rep. Kotyza-Witthuhn

  • Re-states that subsidies would “go directly to childcare providers”
  • “The aim is to pay providers up front and to credit families on their monthly invoice.” 
  • Details on payment frequency is still being sorted

Rep. Daniels 

  • Thanks committee for the discussion
  • “Let’s not lose sight of the STrib article that came out on the 3rd.” 

Rep. Kotyza-Witthuhn

  • “People are making decisions about how big they want their family to be,” because of childcare costs
  • “I think when we highlight parent choice and family planning we really want to make sure families don’t have to do that and the best way to support them is by making public investment.” 
  • “Every child in Minnesota deserves a great start to life and we all benefit, directly or indirectly, when that happens.” 

Sen. Hauschild 

  • “Thanks for letting me crash a House hearing.” 

Rep. Pinto

  • Supplemental budget forecast in a few weeks, “We’ll get a better idea of the 2024 session.” 
  • Meeting adjourns

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