Iron Range providers participate in Day Without Child Care to advocate for their industry

Day Without Child Care meant a trip to St. Paul

Five child care providers on the Range headed to St. Paul on Monday to advocate for their industry.

Five Iron Range child care providers closed their doors on Monday, as part of the national effort called Day Without Child Care.

They headed to St. Paul to push for better funding, in light of ongoing mandates.

Shawntel Gruba, CEO and Director of Iron Range Tykes, said she didn’t want to close. But they must send the message that investing in child care should be a priority. “We are the workforce behind the workforce. We are not a babysitting service.”

The group met with the Governor as well.

She said she let her parents know about six months in advance about this event.

Jay Jensen, a mine engineer, spoke at the press event on Monday before the group headed down. He’s got a daughter who attends Iron Range Tykes.

He said, “The staff deserve to have wages reflect the professionals they are. Families need affordable, reliable care. Child care is a public good, and deserves public funding.”