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Letter: Making child care affordable for all should be a top priority for the Minnesota Legislature

Nicole Flick, executive director and owner of ABC123 Child Enrichment Center in Dilworth, writes, "We have a staffing shortage so severe that several of our classrooms sit empty because we cannot find staff to work for the low wages we can afford to pay and no benefits. We cannot afford to pay higher wages because our families cannot afford to pay more tuition than they do already."

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Minnesotans know that every family, no matter where they live, what they look like, or how much money they make, deserves access to affordable child care and that childcare workers deserve living wages. While a handful of politicians tried to divide us and pit us against each other, we came together to elect a Minnesota House and Senate that will prioritize child care and treat it as the public good that it is.

The childcare system in Minnesota needs and deserves public funding. Centers are already closing every single day. We have a staffing shortage so severe that several of our classrooms sit empty because we cannot find staff to work for the low wages we can afford to pay and no benefits. We cannot afford to pay higher wages because our families cannot afford to pay more tuition than they do already.

The new Minnesota Legislature has the opportunity to make universal child care in which every family has access to affordable child care and teachers earn wages on par with K-12 educators a reality. Our brains grow to 80% of their adult size in the first five years of life. We need to transform how we do childcare so that we can make sure those brains are getting everything they need to be happy and healthy and we’re counting on the Legislature to lead the way.

Nicole Flick is executive director and owner of
ABC123 Child Enrichment Center in Dilworth.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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