Day Care Providers Head to the State Capitol
The Child Care Crisis seems to be a growing issue in the state of Minnesota.
Sen. Clark Johnson (DFL- Mankato) said in a short period of time, the area went from 11,000 providers, to now around 8,000.
"This is a crisis for families, it's a crisis for employers, especially in a tight economy like this," said Johnson. "A lot was learned and frankly I'm very disappointed that last session in 2017, we didn't take this issue head on."
Owner and director of Here We Grow Elizabeth Bangert said they will be meeting at the State Capitol, to release data that shows inconsistencies within licensing, with the Department of Human Services.
"This data demonstrates that there are overreaching interpretations, as well as interpretations of citations that are actually applicable to the rule, or statue that they state on the citation sheets, " said Bangert.
Here We Grow was investigated in Oct 2017 for maltreatment, after a child feel two feet from a slide and broke her arm. During the case, the facility were told that they could lose their license to work with children.
Here We Grow was found not guilty but the process intrigued Bangert to do research on citations.
She also reached out to local legislators, who also believe that there are issues within licensing that need to be addressed.
Rep Jack Considine (DFL-Mankato) said he has met with other representatives as well as day care providers.
"We are concerned about the crisis in Greater Minnesota and we look forward to hearing what the task has come up with," said Considine.
In a statement from DHS Inspector General Carolyn Ham, she said DHS has been proactively reaching out and engaging family and center providers across the state.
Ham said this is to better understand their licensing concerns, share information about legislative changes, and work to increase communications and transparency.
Still, day care centers like Here We Grow, have questions that they want answered.
"This data is on a public website and why has the department of human services not been doing an internal review for consistency themselves for all of these years in the midst of a crisis?" said Bangert.
The DHS, legislators, and day care providers will meet with the intent to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of child care statewide.
The meeting will take place on March 7, at 8:15 a.m. at the State House. All child care providers are welcome to attend.