Assisting childcare providers in Duluth through a funded grant

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Childcare is an important part of the families, businesses, and workforce in our communities in the Northland.

“Every day in northeastern Minnesota, 3700 kids do not have access to child care. This is a barrier for them and their families and a barrier for our economy moving forward. It’s holding us back as a region, so this is an effort to address workforce challenges that we see across all industries but is very specific about our child care providers,” The President of Northland Foundation, Tony Sertich mentioned.

The Northland Foundation has launched a pilot program to help with implementing staff attraction and retention within child care shortage. This program is only available for daycare programs in the city of Duluth to start off and eventually be eligible for the seven counties and five tribal nations that Northland Foundation provides services too.

“The Duluth 1200 Fund is providing $300,000 to the Northland Foundation and towards their child care center Workforce Solutions Pilot Project. These funds will be made available to childcare providers to help them attract and retain the employees needed to help care for our most precious community members, our children,” said the President of the Duluth 1200 Fund, Deb Otto.

Applications are available online now, and the deadline is December 13th, and after the first of the year, a funding decision will be made.

The funding for the program is a $300,000 grant for the city of Duluth 1200 Fund and additional partners, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.

Sertich describes the amount range that these grants range from, “grants ranged from 1500 dollars up to $12,000 based on how many kids these facilities are serving. But, we hope this is an opportunity that they can invest in their workforce, either existing or attracting new workers to this sector, which will help the childcare providers themselves, help the kids in their families and help the workforce and our economy moving forward in northeastern Minnesota.”

With childcare being important for parents, it is also important that licensed childcare programs can hire those employees.

Duluth Workforce Development Director Elena Foshay shared, “Child care is a critically important workforce issue on both sides. Parents need reliable and affordable childcare to be able to go to work, and child care centers and providers are employers, and they need workers to help them fulfill their responsibility to prop up the workforce in our community,”