Child care in Minnesota could see changes as pressure mounts on lawmakers

Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)
Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)

(Dilworth, MN) -- Lawmakers are seeing more pressure to find solutions to child care problems in Minnesota.

Nicole Flick, the Owner of ABC 123 Child Care, spoke in an exclusive interview about the future of child care in Minnesota. She brought up several of the issues presented in the 2022-2023 legislative session, including pay, lack of employee benefits, and overall profitability of the business in Minnesota. However, Flick spoke about a feeling of hope regarding the appetite for change to the industry across the state. 

"When you go to any legislative meeting the first topic is childcare, because that is what [lawmakers] are hearing from their constituents all the time. They can't find it, they can't afford it." said Flick.

Flick says the bill would adjust how job candidates can be selected based on their college credit experience. The current education courses that child care providers can hire from that would be considered "teacher qualified candidates" were set in the 1980's, and are woefully out of date according to Flick. 

"This list doesn't include math or science [classes] yet we are expected to teach math and science," said Flick. "I'm working with [Rep. Heather Keeler(D- 04A)] to change it so we can accept all accredited courses because most people who work in the childcare industry are college students and they use it as a stepping stone in their careers."

However, Flick says there continue to be challenges in the child care industry that will persist without the intervention of the legislative session. She hopes lawmakers find ways to give power to the Department of Health and Human Services, so providers do not need to wait for legislative action until changes can be made. Several changes Flick says would help providers pay higher wages, reduce rates, and increase staffing at their locations. 

"When you are expecting a bachelor degree teacher but you can only offer them $15 an hour, they don't choose us," said Flick.

Original Air Date: 
Monday, February 12, 2024