Early Childhood Advocates Rally in Brooklyn Park
Early childhood advocates are urging Minnesota lawmakers for more funding to address what they call a crisis. Child care officials gathered at the New Horizon Childcare Center in Brooklyn Park on Thursday to voice their concerns to legislators.
Many advocates say a declining number of spaces in childcare centers is pushing the cost of care up, and making programs even more inaccessible to families. Plus, some child care officials say some centers are losing money because many school districts across the state are offering early preschool education.
“We are not against public schools against doing early education, by any means. We need all hands on deck. High quality early childhood [education] can be provided in a variety of settings,” said Government Relations Chair for MN Childcare Association, Clare Sanford. “We have advocated strongly to ensure as public schools open up more early childhood programs, they do it what we called a mixed delivery system. That means the public school buildings themselves are serving some children. But families are also able to access those public services in community based childcare centers.”
The need for quality childcare is especially tough in Greater Minnesota, according to the group Minne Minds, there has been a net loss of more than 15,000 child care spaces.