Read our November 2020 e-newsletter about compensation reform here.
Also, a nice op-ed about the importance of closing achievement gaps by closing the opportunity gaps in access to high quality early care and education.
Minnesota has had a team of experts working for over a year to come up with a Minnesota-specific plan to transform the financing of early care and education.
The current model of financing early care and education is profoundly broken. It does not work for children, for parents, for the educators, for employers or for communities.
Child care costs too much at a time when parents can least afford it. Current government funding reaches only a fraction of the eligible families
Current financing is complex and not aligned. Financing for ECE is a layering of separate programs, with different funding streams, constituencies, eligibility requirements, and quality standards
Funding is not always linked to quality standards and does not reflect the true costs of quality.
· Child care programs, centers and family-based programs alike, operate on razor thin margins
· The wages of early childhood educators are inadequate in all aspects – inadequate to support self-sufficiency of the early care and education workforce, inadequate to recruit and retain educators, and inadequate to reflect the importance of the care and education being provided
These issues result in a shortage of accessible care, with serious implications for families.
· Parents, primarily mothers, are not able to work because they can not find suitable care and lose out on income (which increases the likelihood that their children are living in poverty)
The lack of support for a stable and qualified early childhood workforce is problematic.
· The incomes of most educators is not sufficient to support their households
· The workforce conditions also result in very high levels of turnover, which hurts both workers and the children they serve. In 2018, the annual turnover rate was 14.4% for the Child Day Care Services industry compared to 9.1% economy wide in Minnesota. Turnover increases costs and decreases quality in early care and education programs.
· The last few decades of developments in child development research has indicated that a deeper understanding of early childhood experiences and early intervention is necessary for the early childhood workforce. Meeting this need requires workforce training that is specifically tailored to early childhood.
These issues also have broader implications for the larger workforce and economy.
· Businesses struggle to find enough workers to fill jobs
· Taxpayers lose money from lower income and sales taxes
Learn more about our recommendations to transform the financing of early care and education by watching our presentation at the October 2020 Prenatal to Three Policy Forum. You can view that presentation here. (It starts around minute 46:00). You can also view our PowerPoint slides here.
Nancy Jost, Co-Team Leader of Transforming Minnesota’s Early Childhood Workforce, is encouraging Congress to invest $50 million to save child care in the United States. Check out her letter to the editor in her local newspaper.
View Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division Meeting Notes HERE
Learn more about Child Care Aware Professional Development Opportunities HERE
NAEYC Trainings and Webinars can be found HERE
Truly transforming Minnesota so that all children have access to a qualified, diverse, supported and fairly compensated early childhood educator will take many years of policy changes, significant investment of resources and fervent commitment to the end goal.
This legislative session we are recommending changes that build on successful programs we already have in place in Minnesota; things that we already know work. We have focused on initiatives that will help stem the tide of loss of early childhood teachers. We have a crisis in our state and are recommending that Minnesota take steps now to address this crisis knowing that we still have work to do to fully reform the overall system.
For more information about early childhood related legislation, we recommend Child Care Aware of Minnesota’s web page. They do a fabulous job of putting out a weekly bill tracker and update about all things related to early childhood. Child Care Aware of Minnesota Bill Tracker