Letter: When will our littlest Minnesotans be a priority?
Nicole Flick warns that families can expect child care costs to go up 30-50% next year unless providers continue to receive retention fund payments of $400/FTE they were getting during the pandemic.
Did you know, according to the Perry School Study, that for every dollar you invest in early childhood quality education the return on investment is $12.90? Twelve times what was put in!
There are so many studies that show children who receive quality early childhood education are 10 times more likely to graduate high school and more likely to go on to college. They are more likely to purchase homes and put their children in a quality early childhood education and keep the cycle of childhood poverty out of reach.
If Minnesota childcare providers do not continue to receive retention fund payments at $400/FTE as they were getting during the pandemic, parents of young children in Minnesota will see an increase in childcare tuition between 30-50% in the next year, if they haven’t already.
Parents in Minnesota are paying tens of thousand dollars per year in tuition for care for just one child to be in a quality licensed facility. The in-state tuition for the University of Minnesota Main Campus is $15,254/year. The average cost of child care in the Twin Cities is $20,800/year and Greater Minnesota is $17,000/year.
With already thin profit margins or no profit margins, all the providers can do is ask the parents to pay more in order to offer higher wages to attract quality educated teachers or offer benefits to their employees. At what point is the cost of care going to stop people from working and just stay home, or even worse, stop having children?
Childcare providers are begging the Minnesota Legislature to pass the retention payment bills and all the other related bills currently in the omnibus package so together we can make Minnesota the best state in the nation to raise a family!
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.