The House DFL held a press conference Thursday morning to roll out their top legislative priority for the session – $500 million in funding for early childhood and child care initiatives. The proposal would be funded through the state’s projected $1.3 billion budget surplus.

Under the DFL proposal, the majority of funds—$380 million—would be dedicated to the state’s two child care subsidy programs. The proposal also includes $15 million for CGMC’s policy recommendations: $10 million for the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) child care grant program with 50% dedicated to Greater Minnesota and $5 million for the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations child care programs.

CGMC members were invited to join the House leadership for the rollout of the proposal. Included were Eagle Lake City Administrator Jennifer Bromeland, Mora City Administrator Lindy Crawford and Little Falls City Administrator Jon Radermacher. 

Prior to the press conference, the CGMC members and folks from the Greater Minnesota Partnership met with House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley). The Greater Minnesota delegation shared with Rep. Winkler the realities of what our communities face due to the child care shortage, but more importantly how the state’s investment in the DEED child care grants and the Initiative Foundations work to address the specific needs of our communities. They shared how grants as small as $20,000 can have a major impact in keeping child care providers in the market or bringing new providers into communities.