Local organizations get a boost for quality child care opportunities

Area organizations are getting a boost from the state to help make quality child care more available and affordable. On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz announced that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is awarding nearly $2.5 million to 17 child care organizations representing communities throughout Minnesota. Two of the organizations are in Duluth and one in Grand Marais.

“In every community across the state, we hear from families and small businesses that increasing access to affordable child care is the best way to support our work force, grow our economy, and foster economic prosperity,” Governor Walz said. “These grants reach communities across our state to help increase child care access and ensure families and our youngest Minnesotans receive the care and early education they deserve.”

The Northland Foundation will receive a $250,000 Child Care Economic Development grant from DEED. This project will support 10-12 shovel-ready child care projects. It will include training sessions to help child care professionals earn and/or maintain a Parent Aware rating. According to a press release from the governor’s office, this project will create 567 new licensed childcare slots of which 233 will be for infants/toddlers. In addition, 77 new childcare professional positions will be created.

The Duluth Area Family YMCA is also receiving a $150,000 grant from DEED.

According to the governor’s office, the funds can be used for a variety of options including child care business startups or expansions, training, facility modifications, direct subsidies or incentives to retain employees, as well as licensing and other regulatory requirements.

The following organizations received Child Care Economic Development Grants during this latest round of funding:

  • Aitkin County, Aitkin, $100,000
  • Chinese American Chamber of Commerce, Bloomington, $200,000
  • City of Hills, Hills, $120,000
  • Cook County and Grand Marais EDA, Grand Marais, $180,000
  • Duluth Area Family YMCA, Duluth, $150,000
  • Faith Community Development Initiative Inc, Brooklyn Park, $75,000
  • Greater Bemidji, Inc, Bemidji, $200,000
  • Jasmin Child Care and Preschool, Moorhead, $120,000
  • Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar, Willmar, $200,000
  • Morning Glory Montessori, Minneapolis, $120,000
  • Nobles County Community Service Agency, Worthington, $150,000
  • Northland Foundation, Duluth, $250,000
  • Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Bemidji, $50,000
  • Otter Tail County, Fergus Falls, $160,000
  • Somali Community Resettlement Services, Minneapolis, $50,000
  • Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Owatonna, $200,000
  • WildFlower Foundation, Minneapolis, $100,000

According to a release from the governor’s office, DEED has awarded more than $4 million to Minnesota organizations focused on increasing access to affordable, quality child care across Minnesota since 2017.

Find out more at Child Care Economic Development Grants page on DEED’s website.