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Letter: The Minnesota Legislature must address child care in upcoming session

Jill Magnell, owner and director of Little Discoveries in Moorhead, writes, "With fully funded child care, we can offer our educators the same wages, benefits and recognition as K-12 teachers and we can provide a break for our working parents struggling to afford child care tuition.

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I nodded my head vigorously in agreement as I read the Thursday, Nov 17 letter from Nicole Flick about the need for the Minnesota Legislature to make child care affordable. Minnesota: as a community, we owe our children more! It’s time to collaborate and make changes crucial to our future. Brain development occurs at record speed in children ages zero to five; it is vital that we provide them with access to the safe, quality, early education they need and deserve.

Every family warrants bias-free access to quality child care. With tuition costs on the rise, many families are struggling to keep their kids in child care. As providers, we are struggling to keep costs down, while still keeping our businesses running. Additionally, the inability to offer competitive wages or benefits is causing staffing shortages and center closures. Limited child care leaves parents scrambling to make it to work, impacting employers. We can alleviate this ongoing crisis by fully funding child care.

Our new Minnesota Legislature has the opportunity to make major, necessary changes. We need to transform child care to accommodate our society. With fully funded child care, we can offer our educators the same wages, benefits and recognition as K-12 teachers and we can provide a break for our working parents struggling to afford child care tuition. Everyone is trying their best to “keep their heads above water,” and we can do better! Our future is depending on unity and the Minnesota Legislature to pave the way to success!

Jill Magnell is the owner and director of Little Discoveries in Moorhead.

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

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