Choosing and Using Child Care

WHAT: Child Care Aware® of America recently published its annual cost of care report, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care. While the report is a vital resource for understanding the child care landscape across the United States, it’s important to provide additional context about the statistics presented – specifically in Minnesota.

WHO: Ann McCully, executive director at Child Care Aware of Minnesota, is available for comment on the impact in Minnesota.

WHEN: Report released on Tuesday, December 8, 2015


  • The high cost of child care is a matter of public concern because it limits the accessibility to safe and quality care for Minnesota children.
  • The national report emphasizes the cost for child care centers, which skews the rankings for Minnesota, and does not highlight the uniquely high percentage of licensed family child care (85 percent) that makes up our state’s child care landscape.
  • Despite the high cost of child care, providers are struggling to make a living wage.
  • It is important for Minnesota to maintain its high standards for child care, including quality measures and professional development.


Posted: 9/6/13 - MinnPost

Peggy Flanagan, the new executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, can put a real face on childhood poverty: her own.

“For a long time it was just my mom and I,’’ said Flanagan, who touts a personal history as a self-described “survivor and child witness” of abuse, as well as early years of economic struggles. Yet this woman, who smiles often and widely, also brings a background rich in advocacy for the less fortunate to the child advocacy organization she now leads.

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Posted 8/20/13 - St. Paul Pioneer Press

Twin Cities school districts will not just be asking voters for more money for operations this November -- half of those expected to be on fall ballot are seeking funds for buildings, technology and other capital expenses.

Nine of the 18 metro districts seeking more money have capital projects as part of or as their entire tax request.

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Posted 7/21/13 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

The best ideas to put children on a path to school success rarely come from Washington, D.C.

President Obama has put forward a plan to make high-quality preschool affordable for all children — a vital step in putting young people on a path to a thriving middle class. As I saw firsthand in a pair of visits in the Minneapolis area on Tuesday, that effort builds on the work of states like Minnesota.

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Posted 6/20/13 - Columbia Heights-Fridley Sun Focus

New Horizon Academy in Columbia Heights on June 17 joined childcare centers throughout the state to serve healthy, locally-grown foods as part of a Farm to Childcare initiative.

The program began last year as a pilot project, designed to evaluate effectiveness at 14 childcare sites throughout the state. After seeing success, the Farm to Childcare program is expanding to 62 New Horizon Academy centers throughout the metro area and greater Minnesota, potentially reaching 7,500 children.

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Posted 6/17/13 - Minnesota Public Radio

A new program designed to serve healthy, locally grown food to young children kicks off on Monday at 62 child care centers around Minnesota.

The farm-to-child care program is a collaboration between the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the child care provider New Horizon Academy.

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Posted 6/13/13 - Brainerd Daily Dispatch

Bill Cruz is not your average student.

In fact, he’s the exact opposite of the 19-year-old white woman that typically sits in the desk of Jeanette Rydberg’s early childhood classes.

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Posted 6/3/13 - Brainerd Daily Dispatch

Crow Wing County Community Services is reminding parents and day care providers it is not safe to place an infant to sleep on his/her stomach.

Infants age 2 months to 4 months are at the greatest risk because their muscles are not strong enough to turn their bodies or heads to bring in oxygen. If left face down on blankets or other soft sources they are at risk of breathing in their own exhalations which can lead to death.

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Posted 6/2/13 - St. Paul Pioneer Press

Kindergarten teacher Jonalyn Lippka has some advice for her colleagues who soon will be spending more time with the youngest learners.

"You have to go slow to go fast," said Lippka of the need for a deliberate pace and repetitive teaching for young students. "There will be growing pains, but they're good growing pains."

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Posted 5/28/13 - MinnPost

Terrie Rose calls herself a “baby geek,” and that’s exactly what she is. She has spent 30 years studying babies, and has developed a unique system to improve the way we rear our children. More impressive, she has put these methods successfully into practice and created a model that others can learn from.

And here’s the kicker: The methods are developed from the baby’s point of view.

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Posted 5/12/13 - St. Cloud Times

Wrapped in a fuzzy blanket decorated with jungle animals, Morgan Mueller’s eyelids droop as she snuggles with day care provider Melissa Lawwell.

But when it’s time to lay the 9 1/2-month-old infant down for her afternoon nap, Lawwell takes away the blanket and lays her in the empty white-railed crib.

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Posted 4/25/13 - Anoka County Union

A growing number of scientific findings on early brain development and the ability of children to learn more earlier is leading educational and business leaders to push for more state funding to educate three-and four-year-old children, particularly from communities with concentrations of poor families.

Experts say that at the age of five a child’s brain is 90 percent developed enabling them to learn numerical concepts, good behavior and how to get along with other children.

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Posted 4/23/13 - Brainerd Daily Dispatch

Funding, policy changes and opportunity gaps were topics discussed with Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.

A group of Brainerd lakes area educators and administrators met with Cassellius Monday in a roundtable discussion.

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Posted 4/25/13 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Legislation to improve the safety of child care in Minnesota is expected to pass the state Senate this week, including broader training requirements for in-home providers and stricter rules to prevent deaths among sleeping infants.

The legislation, however, lacks some key recommendations issued last year by a state infant mortality panel. The panel, which examined more than 80 day-care deaths, recommended more frequent inspections of day-care homes and lower ratios of children-to-provider — measures that some lawmakers deemed too costly for the state and onerous for day-care providers.

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Posted 4/17/13 - Alexandria Echo Press

Local child care providers/early educators have found a new way to ensure that they deliver quality services, through Parent Aware.

Parent Aware is a rating tool designed to help parents find the highest quality child care and early education providers in Minnesota. The one-to-four star rating is the result of a thorough, six-month-long process that involved learning, coaching and training.

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Posted 4/4/13 - Rochester Post-Bulletin

Rochester Public Schools' School Readiness Program recently received a four-out-of-four star rating, the highest possible, from Parent Aware.

The Rochester School Readiness Program is a collaboration between Rochester Public Schools and Child Care Resource and Referral that helps children ages 3 to kindergarten enter school with the necessary skills and behaviors to succeed.

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Posted 4/3/13 - Star Tribune

The number of children dying in Minnesota child-care facilities declined sharply in the past eight months after a sharp rise that for years had gone undetected by state regulators.

In a report issued Wednesday, state officials said the “alarming trend” of child-care deaths has been stalled, with just one death in the last eight months.

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Posted 4/4/13 - Duluth News Tribune

As support for early childhood education grows in Duluth and across Minnesota, it is important Minnesotans understand the national and local research that underscores the importance of making smart investments in these early years of child development.

Lindsey Burke’s March 26 commentary, “Pre-K push will spend billions, fail as miserably as Head Start,” grossly distorted the analysis of the value and impact of public investment in quality early learning experiences.

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Posted 3/14/13 - MinnPost

Among the crowd of 4-year-olds pulling on warm jackets and stuff like Spider Man gloves and fluffy pink scarves for outdoor play Tuesday at the Early Childhood Education Center at the Midtown YWCA in Minneapolis were two antsy little boys with energy to spend.

They tugged on snow pants, coats and hats. Then, as little boys all over are wont to do, and I as the mother of two boys remember only too well, one jabbed the other --  not hard -- and maybe just to get his buddy’s attention.

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Posted 2/27/13 - KMSP-TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - One day after the FOX 9 Investigators broke the story of a Twin Cities day care business suspected of committing massive fraud, the state department that oversees such programs says it wants to crack down on cheaters.

"We've got to be more aggressive in investigating fraud," said Lucinda Jesson, commissioner of the Department of Human Services.

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Posted 2/22/13 - Post-Bulletin

Child care providers have a chance to shine brightly with four-star rating system.

Parent Aware, a new rating system for southern Minnesota-based child care providers, is now available in Olmsted County.

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Posted 11/1/12 - KARE 11

MINNETONKA, Minn. -- "Knock, knock, sheep in!" A preschooler in the Minnetonka district doing what preschoolers do.  He's playing with a toy farm set.

Tate is engaged and playing in an age-appropriate way.  That's a win for teachers at the Minnetonka Community Education Center.

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