SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Today, the Minnesota House passed bipartisan legislation to help protect Minnesotans’ health and economic security during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes funding authored by Representative Dave Pinto (DFL – St. Paul) to ensure that child care providers can remain open and providing critically-needed care during the crisis. It is expected to be approved by the Minnesota Senate and signed into law soon by Governor Tim Walz.
“Early care and learning has rightly been identified as a critical sector in Minnesota’s fight against COVID-19,” said Rep. Pinto, Chair of the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division. “This emergency funding will help our state’s child care providers stay in business and continue caring for the children of health care professionals and other essential workers.”
The legislation provides nearly $30 million in grants for child care providers who are struggling to stay open due to the high number of families who have withdrawn their children from care. It helps stabilize the child care industry so providers can continue serving the children of first responders, grocers, pharmacists, and other workers who have been deemed essential, ensuring that Minnesota’s first line of defense against COVID-19 can stay on the job.
Child care providers who prioritize care for the children of essential workers and implement health and safety practices that prevent the spread of COVID-19 may receive monthly grants of $4,500. Programs that serve children during nonstandard hours, children whose first language is not English, or children with special needs are eligible for an additional $1,000 per month. Child care providers that are licensed to serve 15 or more children may receive up to an additional $15,500 per month.