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A cuts-only approach to the budget jeopardizes access to child care
Today, Way Four of the 20 Ways in 20 Days Campaign looks at how a cuts-only approach to meeting Minnesota’s needs will jeopardize access to affordable, high quality child care.
Proposed Cut: The Legislature has proposed over $50 million in cuts that threaten the supply of affordable, high quality child care.
Consequence: Amy runs a preschool program in Cottage Grove and has seen rising numbers of scholarship applications as more families struggle to afford the high quality pre-school experience she provides to meet their needs. Amy knows that the cost of quality child care is out of reach for many. She asks, “Parents need to work, but how can they when they can’t afford child care for their children?” Many providers do their best to make child care affordable, but as business owners, they also need to take into account their costs of doing business when they set their prices.
The proposed cuts in state reimbursement rates for child care providers will make it harder for working Minnesotans to find affordable, quality child care for their children. Child care providers will be faced with painful choices, including sacrificing the quality of care they provide to children, pricing their services out ofmany parents’ reach, or even closing their doors. Juggling work and parenting is a reality of today’s economy. We’ll all pay the price if children are less prepared for a successful school experience or their moms and dads can’t keep their jobs.
Solution: Let’s protect Minnesota’s communities, residents and quality of life. We cannot afford to take a cuts-only approach to meeting our state’s needs, jeopardizing access to affordable, high quality child care. Minnesotans know we need a balanced approach, one that includes raising revenues based on ability to pay, in order to maintain critical state services that support Minnesotans in tough times and invest in our future.