Walz visits Duluth to discuss his plan about affordable child care

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Governor Tim Walz visited the YWCA-Spirit Valley Early Childhood Center in Duluth to discuss his plan to make child care more affordable and accessible for Minnesotans.

Under his child care plan, a family making up to $200,000 with three kids could receive up to $10,500 a year.

Plus there would be increased reimbursements for providers, who are trying to pay higher wages.

With him at this visit was Elena Foshay, Director of Workforce Development, Tony Sertich, the CEO of the Northland Foundation, parents, and providers.

Desirae Williams is a social worker for St. Louis County. She was able to return to work after having her baby, due to accessible and affordable care.

She’s in favor of Walz’s proposal because it would mean more money for her family to spend on other things, like food, which has seen skyrocketing prices lately.

Sertich explained the great need for more care. “Today in the Northland, there are 4,000 children that do not have access to child care. And at the same time, providers are really struggling to make ends meet. The good news is that we have investments proposed by Governor Walz, to really close the gap.”

Watch the full press conference.

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Providers like the YWCA love their jobs, but are looking forward to feeling more valued. “Because we know that these kids and the work we do is the most important work that there could be. We are educating the next doctor, next social worker, next therapist, next teacher,” shared Loni Stallsmith, the Early Childhood Director.

Foshay shared that they are working with providers on a training program, to help take that burden off of the providers themselves. She added that she, too, has two kids who need care.

After the visit at the child care center, Walz went to a manufacturing company in Duluth.

He told the media that he’s confident there is enough funding from the surplus to fund these changes now, and keep them sustainable.