Episode 9: Minnesota's Childcare Crisis
DEC 14, 2017
Description Community

Minnesota is experiencing a childcare crisis and it directly impacts our workforce.  Marnie Werner, Director of Research for the Center for Rural Policy and Development, joins us for this episode to better understand the issue and how it varies across the state.  She shares insights from research she led on the topic for the Center.


“There is a shortage of childcare providers in all parts of the state.  The solutions to it are going to be different because of demographics, economics, and population density.”


“[In the last 30 years] we found that the number of people providing in home childcare has been on the downslide and in the last 10 years it has been going down quite a bit.”


“In the Twin Cities the issue is really getting affordable daycare.  Outside the Twin Cities the issues is getting any kind of daycare.”


“This isn’t just a personal family issue you know where the parents are just going to have to figures this out.  Communities are really starting to come together and thinking about how can we work at this at a larger scale to figure out solutions to this. “


People will “interview for a job and if there isn’t childcare in that community they will move on and the employer is stuck looking for someone else.”


“A lot of providers are getting out of the business because they can’t make money at it.”


“Childcare has always been a family issue.  A personal issue.  So I think it remained largely invisible and under the radar because families were trying to figure it out themselves and it is only now where it is really interfering with business and employers and communities that it is really starting to be talked about.”


“A thing that may have kept childcare under the radar is that I think a lot of parents think ‘okay we only have to figure this out for five years and then our kids will be in kindergarten so once the kids enter kindergarten then they don’t really have to worry about it as much anymore and it's not as much of an issue and so it's more of a temporary thing.”


Links from this episode:

University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Community Vitality is your go to place for information to help you in your community work.

The Center for Rural Policy and Development provides articles, recordings, and research on a variety of topics important to understanding issues in greater Minnesota.

Read the report “A quiet crisis: Minnesota’s childcare shortage” as well as the recent update to their report to learn more about this issue.

See if you live in a childcare desert in this map from the Center for American Progress.


Other research on the issue of childcare:

Legislative Task Force on Access to Affordable Child Care (January 2017)

Greater Minnesota's Child Care Center Wage & Rate Survey Results (Minnesota Initiative Foundations, March 2017)

Workforce of Today, Workforce of Tomorrow (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, June 2017)

Kids Can’t Wait: 2017 Legislative Agenda (Children’s Defense Fund, January 2017)

It’s time for an ambitious national investment in America’s children (Economic Policy Institute, April 2016)

United Way of NE Minnesota Child Care Study Results