Rochester childcare workers gather to call on state leaders to fund industry

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Child care organizations and teachers across the state joined together Monday by wearing purple.

It’s part of ‘National A Day Without Childcare’, highlighting how important childcare is and calling to the Minnesota legislature to invest in childcare.

Rochester childcare workers
Rochester childcare workers(KTTC)

A group of local childcare providers and teachers gathered in Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester Monday afternoon to highlight the link between childcare and parents working.

Without these childcare organizations and educators, parents wouldn’t be able to go to work each day.

Attendees spoke about the hardships the childcare industry is having. Including staffing shortages, low wages, little to no benefits and the inability to hire new staff.

Childcare providers across Minnesota are calling on state leaders to fund childcare, especially with the existing multi-million dollar surplus in the budget.

Signs supporting the need for more childcare workers
Signs supporting the need for more childcare workers(KTTC)

“So when they retire, the long term people that have kind of made this their work, we’re not going to have a workforce,” Meadow Park Preschool and Childcare Center Executive Director Karin Swenson said. “We don’t have a workforce now, I mean we do, but we don’t. We can’t hire. Anybody who’s leaving us right now is gone.”

Swenson says it has been extremely difficult to hire anyone. She and many other providers have had open positions for over a year and haven’t been able to hire anyone.

Should the childcare industry get any funding, Swenson wants to raise wages, give benefits and 401ks to staff.

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