Politicians and Community Leaders Discuss Affordable Child Care

DULUTH, Minn.- Both community and political leaders gathered for a roundtable discussion in Duluth today regarding affordable child care for Northeastern Minnesota.

U.S. Senator Tina Smith and Mayor Emily Larson attended the roundtable held at the Duluth Public Library to hear from child care providers and their needs.

In the past year, Senator Smith secured $50 billion for Minnesota child care businesses as a part of the COVID-19 relief package but is now looking at ways to combat the child care shortage.

“Long-term we need a solution that is really going to make sure the child care works for families and for businesses, and for the incredible providers who are in this for the love of the work but do need to be able to have a business that can survive,” said U.S. Senator Tina Smith. “And that’s what we are working on with the Build Back Better plan, which would include significant support for long-term support for child care.”

Senator Smith presented the proposed Build Back Better budget plan that will help lower the cost of child care, expand businesses within the child care industry, and provide competitive wages.

The new budget plan will require families only to pay seven percent of their income for childcare, reducing the overall cost. The plan’s infrastructure portion passed through the Senate, but the budget portion is pending approval in the coming weeks.

“More money into the system, and I should say that it is also a partnership with the state,” said Senator Smith. “So it’s federal resources and state resources together to help raise wages and increase the affordability of childcare.”

Officials say the proposed budget plan will not only help fix the current child care shortage but will bring more people back to the workforce by providing jobs and competitive wages.


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