Lieutenant Governor Flanagan hosts roundtable to highlight Child Care Plan
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (KTTC) – Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan visited Fergus Falls, Minnesota Friday to highlight the child care plan in the One Minnesota Budget released in January.
Lieutenant Governor Flanagan hosted a roundtable with city and county leaders, business leaders and parents to discuss the plan, which would increase child care access and affordability and provide middle class families with up to $10,500 to help pay for child care.
While in Fergus Falls, the Lieutenant Governor also visited the children and staff at PioneerKids child care center and toured infrastructure projects that would be funded by the One Minnesota Budget with Fergus Falls Mayor Ben Schierer.
“We have a historic opportunity to make child care more affordable and accessible for Minnesotans across the state. The child care needs in Greater Minnesota are unique from the needs in our urban areas, and I am proud that we address the entire spectrum of need in our child care plan and One Minnesota Budget. We have a responsibility to lower the burden of child care costs on our workforce while also supporting the providers that care for our youngest Minnesotans every day. I look forward to continuing these important conversations around the state and fighting to make Minnesota the best state in the country to raise a family. "
Below are the Child Care Plan proposals:
Child Care Plan: Expand Access to Child Care and Early Learning
To reduce child care expenses and provide economic relief to middle class and lower income families, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan propose $539 million in tax credits in 2024-2025 and a $547 million in tax credits in 2026-2027 to expand the Child and Dependent Care Credit, reducing costs for 100,000 Minnesota households. This child care plan will allow families making under $200,000 with one child to receive up to $4,000 a year for child care costs. Families with two children could receive up to $8,000, and families with three children could receive up to $10,500. Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan also propose expanding public pre-K seats for nearly 25,000 eligible children, investing in early learning scholarships, and improving child care access for Minnesota families by increasing child care assistance payment rates. Finally, the One Minnesota Budget addresses Minnesota’s child care shortage by increasing staff compensation and supporting providers starting child care businesses.
Child Care Plan: Support Working Families and Reduce Child Poverty
Shown to reduce child poverty and improve outcomes for families at every stage of life, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan recommend a nation-leading Child Tax Credit, providing lower income families $1,000 per child with a maximum credit of $3,000. This Child Tax Credit alone would cut child poverty by 25%. The proposal would result in $1.1 billion in tax cuts in 2024-2025 and a $1.2 billion in 2026-2027. At a time when more Minnesotans are accessing food nutrition programs, the One Minnesota Budget also invests in the Minnesota Food Shelf Program and emergency food and distribution facilities across Minnesota, increases outreach for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and includes new funding to support food security among tribal nations and American Indian communities. Additionally, the Walz-Flanagan budget proposes a grant program that allows colleges and universities to provide parents or expectant parents with the support they need to complete their education.
Child Care Plan: Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Grants
Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan recognize that access to child care is an economic and workforce development issue across the state. The One Minnesota Budget includes a proposal to create and Office of Child Care and Community Partnerships at DEED to establish a central force for efforts to advance child care. The office would administer a proposed $18 million over four years in DEED Child Care Economic Development Grants to support child care and economic development in Greater Minnesota.
Child Care Plan: DEED Office of Child Care and Community Partnerships
Recognizing that access to child care is an economic and workforce development issue across the state, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan recommend creating an Office of Child Care and Community Partnerships at DEED to establish a central force for efforts in recognizing access to child care as an economic and workforce development issue across the state. The office would administer DEED Child Care Economic Development Grants and the Governor proposes investing $18 million more over four years in these funds to support child care economic development activities in Greater Minnesota, which will assist child care providers, create much-needed new child care slots, and increase the capacity and quality of child care across the state.
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