Duluth Ordinance Possible Solution to Child Care Shortage in the Northland

City Council is Expected to Vote by the end of the Month

DULUTH, Minn. – Finding quality child care in the Northland has been a challenge for many parents in the area.

In Duluth there are about one hundred fifty licensed family child care homes and centers, but it is not enough to meet the demand of more than one thousand openings still needed to cover the deficit in Duluth.

Local leaders are hoping to rebuild the child care industry, but providers say it is not an easy task.

“It is really difficult to start a center. We started this as a home child care center first. We had to get up to fire code and have sprinklers put in the church. It was not up to code and then there is just all the requirements,” says Little Hearts Preschool & Child Care Owner Melissa Reisdorf.

Although, it may be a long road to create enough child care in the Northland local organizations like The YMCA are already trying to help.

Completely of the new Essentia Wellness Center in the fall will offer about one hundred more child care openings.

“I hope this is part of the solution. We certainly know that research tells us that we are missing a lot of spaces for early education. To me I am not only excited to add those spaces, but the Y is committed to serving families at every income range,” says Duluth Area Family YMCA President Sara Cole.

An ordinance sponsored by Duluth City Councilor Arik Foresman is being considered as a possible solution to the child care crisis.

The ordinance would bring the opportunity for businesses in specific zones to work together to offer onsite child care services.

The City Council is expected to vote on this ordinance by the end of the month.

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