Economic Impact of Child Care

Are you registered to vote? With the next general election coming up on Tuesday, November 4, that’s an answer Minnesota’s Future Coalition is very interested in hearing from the state’s residents.

Minnesota's Future is a broad coalition of early childhood advocacy organizations working to ensure Minnesota children are nurtured, healthy, eager to learn and prepared to succeed in school and in life.

Elected officials make a number of decisions that impact many aspects of early childhood, so part of the coalition’s work is to educate parents, providers and others concerned for children about early education issues and how to have their opinions counted at the polls. That starts with proper voter registration.

To find out how to register to vote, where to vote and to get information on absentee voting, visit or call 1-877-600-VOTE (8683).

Vote on November 4, 2014

Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
(or vote by absentee)­

Remember to bring your I.D.

The Governor, every seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Constitutional Officers (Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor) are up for election.

Minnesota’s Future Coalition also encourages voters to ask questions related to early education before casting a ballot. These questions include:

If elected, what will you do to…

  • Support parents to be their children’s first and best teacher?
  • Increase the number of infants and toddlers receiving the resources needed for a secure and healthy start?
  • Increase the number of children receiving high quality early learning experiences?
  • Increase the availability and affordability of professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals?

Learn more about Minnesota's Future Coalition at

Posted: 10/3/13 - Morrison County Record

As the new school year swings into full gear, more of the state’s youngest learners will now have access to high quality early education. Thanks to Gov. Mark Dayton and the legislature’s $40 million dollar investment over the next biennium in early education scholarships, more than 8,000 students will be given a better start.

For Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison and Wadena counties, $1.996 million for scholarships will be made available during the biennium, providing approximately 500 children with access to early learning opportunities.

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Posted: 10/3/13 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Four Head Start providers that serve 3,200 low-income children in four states are closing due to the federal government shutdown.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday four grantees that operate about 50 sites are shutting down after not receiving their funding.

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Posted: 9/30/13 - Brainerd Daily Dispatch

Brainerd Public Schools is the proud recipient of an $81,000 Minnesota Early Learning Scholarship Award. The award is recognition of the district’s ongoing focus via its well-established School Readiness program on providing the community with quality early childhood educational experiences.

As part of acknowledging early childhood education as an important component of a child’s success in school, our district has worked hard to enhance programming and provide our youngest students with a quality experience as they prepare to enter kindergarten. The scholarship award will enable the district to expand programming to serve more families.

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Posted 9/16/13 - Willmar West Central Tribune

A group of child advocates in the Willmar area is working to develop a cohesive education plan for pre-school children in the area.

The Children’s Cabinet hopes to replace a patchwork of curriculum among child care providers with a common program to prepare children for kindergarten.

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Posted 8/23/13 - MinnPost

That low, plaintive sound you hear is the sound of early learning advocates across the state lamenting cuts in the federal Head Start program.

And that high-pitched tweet from Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota signals a widespread call to action: “Call your congressperson and say #BeCarefulWhatYouCut.”

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Posted 8/15/13 - St. Paul Pioneer Press

A middle-income family will spend $241,080 on average to raise a child born last year to the age of 18, a 2.6 percent increase from a year ago that outpaces the broader inflation rate, according to a government report.

Housing was the largest expense at 30 percent of spending, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday in an annual report that also showed wealthier families spent triple the amount on entertainment and reading materials as poorer households. Child care was the second-biggest expense in more affluent homes, ahead of food, while health costs pinched all household budgets.

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Posted 8/15/13 - WCCO (CBS) CH-4

We love them to death, but any parent knows, it’s expensive to raise a child. New numbers from the USDA estimate the cost to raise a boy or girl born in 2012 is $241,080 – up 2.6 percent from two years ago.

The largest expenditure is housing – about 30 percent. Child care/education (not including college) is second at 18 percent and food comes in third at 16 percent. Transportation, clothing, healthcare and miscellaneous make up the rest.

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Posted 5/17/13 - KSTP CH 5

In Minnesota, child care can already cost more than a year of state college tuition.

A national child-care advocacy group, Child Care Aware of America, found one year of infant care in a center in Minnesota costs more than $13,000.

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Posted 5/7/13 - St. Paul Pioneer Press

Beyond the legislative clamor of more high-profile issues on which the business community has an interest, there is a growing presence among executives regarding investments in the future workforce through market-based programs affecting 3- and 4-year-olds.

Brain development research has long reported on the necessity of laying a strong foundation for learning between birth and age 5. Roughly half of Minnesota kids are not fully prepared to succeed when they begin kindergarten.

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Posted 5/3/13 - St. Cloud Times

Parents Casey and Jennifer Gray knew it would be tough on their finances to have kids.

Diapers, baby food and little shoes aren’t cheap. But it was the day care bill that was truly eye-popping.

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Posted 4/19/13 - MinnPost

When Minnesota was awarded a $45 million federal Race to the Top (RTT) grant in December 2011 to improve our pre-kindergarten early-education outcomes, we celebrated. As a member on the board of a business-oriented nonprofit that had piloted the reforms embodied in the proposal, I joined in toasting the achievement.

The news was well worth a party.  After all, up to 90 percent of brain development happens by age 5, making the pre-kindergarten years a key time to have children in stimulating learning environments. At a time when nearly half of Minnesota children are not prepared for kindergarten, we clearly need to improve our state’s pre-kindergarten early-education offerings. We need to do it for the sake of our kids, and to protect our future economy.

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Posted 4/20/13 - Burnsville - This Week Live

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 3- and 4-year-old children, particularly from communities with concentrations of poor families.

Experts say that at the age of 5 a child’s brain is 90 percent developed, enabling the child to learn numerical concepts, good behavior and how to get along with other children.

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Posted 4/11/13 - Bloomington Sun Current

Promising to increase state funding for early childhood education, state lawmakers gathered inside a Bloomington classroom earlier this week in anticipation of the Minnesota House of Representatives’ proposal.

Led by House Speaker Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis), legislators, educators and members of the business community spoke April 7 regarding the DFL-controlled House plan to fund scholarships that would provide increased early childhood education for 3- and 4-year-olds throughout the state.

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Posted 4/9/13 - KARE (NBC) CH 11

Minnesota schools would receive state funding for all-day kindergarten and an extra $200 per pupil on average in House Democrats' plans for education spending.

Top lawmakers outlined those priorities in their two-year budget proposal unveiled Tuesday. It also provides scholarships for early education, aims to decrease funding gaps between urban and rural schools districts and pays back about $850 million in IOUs to schools the state used to balance previous budgets.

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Posted 4/6/13 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

President Barack Obama says his soon-to-be released budget, already criticized by friends and foes, is not his "ideal plan" but offers "tough reforms" for benefit programs and scuttles some tax breaks for the wealthy.

That's a mix, he contends, that will provide long-term deficit reduction without harming the economy.

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Posted 2/28/13 - Marshall Independent

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The deadline for a deal to avert $85 billion in government-wide spending cuts is just days away, but Minnesota officials are still playing a guessing game for where and when federal funding would be slashed in the state.

Without clear answers from Washington, D.C., some state agencies have cobbled together a rough picture of how the automatic cuts may affect Minnesotans. Others, like the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, say they're at a loss.

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Posted 2/20/13 - Star Tribune

For too long, Minnesota’s 3- to 5-year-olds have not been high on the state funding priority list — even though most research proves the educational and societal value of strong early education.

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Posted 2/26/13 - MinnPost

Posted 2/26/13 - Pioneer Press

The partisan bickering of Washington feels a world away from the North Minneapolis neighborhood where Tyra Fort grew up.

But unless Congress and the White House reach a compromise by Friday, March 1, to avoid $1.2 trillion in across-the-board budget cuts over the next decade, it is communities such as Fort's that will take the brunt of that gridlock.

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Posted 2/20/13 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

For too long, Minnesota’s 3- to 5-year-olds have not been high on the state funding priority list — even though most research proves the educational and societal value of strong early education.

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Posted 2/12/13 - Huffington Post

President Barack Obama proposes a major initiative to expand preschool opportunities for 4-year-olds in Tuesday's State of the Union address.

The Huffington Post reported last month the White House was considering such a plan. A fact sheet circulated Tuesday by the White House as a supplement to the State of the Union outlines the proposal:

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Posted 1/28/13 - MinnPost

That low moan rumbling through the air at the state Capitol this week? That’s Minnesota’s education advocacy community trying to figure out how to simultaneously express its gratitude and look a gift horse in the mouth.

The budget request Mark Dayton released Tuesday proves, once again, that the governor has been listening carefully to educators. It ticks, in at least partial form, nearly every box on a wish list that’s done nothing but mushroom for a decade.

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Posted 1/25/13 - MinnPost

Buried in Gov. Mark Dayton $37.9 billion proposed budget is a creative idea to improve the lives of the state’s most educationally vulnerable children: state-funded scholarships for preschoolers from low-income families.

It’s an idea early on proposed by Art Rolnick, former research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, pushed by advocates for the poor for years and that has shown to be successful in a limited pilot program.

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Posted 1/23/2013 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Democratic governor Tuesday released his budget proposal, which would upend the current state system of revenue collection.

High-wage earners would pay $1 billion more in income taxes, all Minnesotans would pay sales tax on pricier clothing and homeowners would see $500 yearly rebates under Gov. Mark Dayton's budget proposal, released Tuesday.

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Posted 12/19/12 - Granite Falls - Advocate Tribune

A lot of potential parents put a great deal of thought into having a child. There are work schedules to consider, rooms to decorate, toys to purchase and a lot more. For would-be parents in Chippewa County, there is one more item to plan around: child care openings.

“A lot of people these days are planning to have their children around when there are daycare openings,” explained BreeAnn Bothun, the daycare/foster care licensor in Chippewa County.

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Posted: 2009-01-20

Northland Press, January 13, 2009

Bush Foundation funds study to provide data to Minnesota Legislature, schools and communities

Saint Paul, MN Wilder Research released a report on December 29, 2008, highlighting its findings that the state of Minnesota experiences an annual cost burden of $113 million to its K-12 education system due to children entering kindergarten unprepared. The cost-benefit study focuses specifically on the costs and benefits to the Minnesota K-12 system as a whole, excluding costs or benefits for the child, family or society.

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Posted: 2011-04-06

Spring Valley Tribune
By David Phillips
Bluff Country Newspaper Group

Duane Benson, the former NFL football star and Republican state senator who lives just outside of Lanesboro, is now the executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation (MELF). That may seem like a 180-degree turnaround from his previous position as executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership.

It isn’t. Business and early learning have more in common than you might think.

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View PDF of the report on the Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA) website.

Posted: 2011-12-13


BALTIMORE With states under pressure to cut their budgets and federal stimulus money gone, low-income working parents are facing a paradox. Just when they have to work longer hours to make ends meet, they are losing access to the thing they need most to stay on the job: a government subsidy that helps pay for child care.

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Posted: 2012-04-03

Public News Service

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Parents tend to do a lot of research when they’re first picking out a child-care provider, but advocates say they also need to make sure the providers are keeping up with the latest trends in education and training.

Rozalyn Zuest, professional development coordinator with the Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Network, says that’s because providers need to learn in order to teach.

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