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The early childhood workforce, and child care itself, is always essential. Without a strong and healthy early childhood workforce, we cannot sustain a strong and healthy economy. However, as we lurch into the seventh month of the pandemic and the start of school, our Child Care information Specialists are talking with working parents every day…

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photo of child washing hands while provider watches

In mid-July, we wrapped up the third and final round of the Peacetime Emergency Child Care grants. These grants, proposed by Gov. Tim Walz and authorized by the Minnesota Legislature, were designed to support family child care providers and child care centers to ensure there are enough child care slots to serve families of critical…

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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is dominating headlines and quickly becoming a concern for child care programs and parents. Our national office has shared a new blog post titled Coronavirus: How Does It Impact Child Care Providers and CCR&Rs? with helpful information for child care programs. The post provides an overview of the current situation, recommendations to…

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The 2020 Legislative session begins on February 11! While this is the “short” session focused on bonding and policy, there is already a whirlwind of activity related to early childhood issues. The current state budget is already set through June 2021, but news of a $1.3 billion surplus has allowed lawmakers to discuss potential additions.…

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Minnesota had the pleasure of hosting the national Child Care Aware of America Leadership Institute on October 6 – 9 in Minneapolis. This annual event drew over 150 leaders from 37 states that work in the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) field. Across the nation, we focus on increasing access to high-quality, affordable child…

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Reflecting on the outcome of this most recent legislative session, it is truly a test of the glass half-full or glass half-empty perspective. I land on one-fourth full, three-fourths empty, and disappointment over lost opportunities. The year started hopefully, with a new Governor and Lieutenant Governor who both support early education. Their budget had investments…

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Public policy work is daunting. Messy. Confusing. The pace of change is slow and sometimes things even go in reverse. It takes a lot of time and energy. But it is also critical work for the children and families that we serve, and our society. As a colleague of mine used to say, “if you…

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How can Child Care Aware agencies help shape public policy? Here are four ways: We are perfectly positioned to speak with authority about the challenges of early care and education because we sit at the intersection of several key constituencies: parents, providers, and communities. We have data about our system and its needs, a powerful…

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