New child care opportunities for military families in Minnesota

On Monday, state leaders highlighted new child care opportunities for Minnesota military families. Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan visited a child care provider in Brooklyn Park to announce the launch of a new Department of Defense (DoD) initiative, which expands child care for military families.

“Minnesota’s military families make incredible sacrifices for our state and country,” Governor Walz said in a press release. “These families deserve affordable, reliable child care that allows them the flexibility to work, visit the doctor, and manage their lives. By increasing child care options and lowering expenses, we’re making sure our military families know we have their back.”

According to the governor’s office, the initiative will increase child care options for military families, while reducing the cost of child care expenses up to $1,800 per month per child.

The initiative expands child care options through the fee assistance program, known as Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood-PLUS (MCCYN-PLUS). The fee assistance program is offered to eligible military families and will include quality state rated providers when on-installation child care is unavailable.

Minnesota National Guard Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke and others also attended the event Monday afternoon.

Manke said the program should allow for more child care providers to receive this funding to help military families than in the past when providers had to meet certain requirements as mandated by the DoD.

Organizers say any full-time military employee, including Department of Defense civilians, Minnesota National Guard members and reserve members, can use the program.

Child care providers and military families can learn more by going to the Child Care Aware of America website for assistance.