What is it?
In 2021 early care and education advocates in partnership with legislators and the Walz-Flanagan Administration proposed The Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force to develop a statewide plan to accomplish the goal that, “All families to have access to affordable, high quality early care and duration that enriches, nurtures, and supports children and their families” (Minnesota 2021 Session Law, First Special Session, Chapter 7, Article 14, Section 18, Subd. 2).
In February 2023, the Task Force of 11 voting members appointed by the Governor, 4 voting members appointed by legislative leadership, and 22 non-voting members appointed by varying individuals met their February 1, 2023 deadline by releasing their Final Report.
Summary of Report Recommendations:
- Create a family benefits system that provides affordable access to early care and education for all families, with no family paying more than 7% of their income for services.
- Provide early childhood programs with adequate funding to deliver effective services for children and families.
- Pay the early care and education workforce a living wage.
- Invest in increasing access to effective programs.
The Task Force was directed by legislation to lay out a plan to achieve the legislative goals, including an implementation timeline running from July 2025 through July 2031. This plan and timeline appear in the full report, and all recommendations are also listed in Appendix A. However, children, families, the early care and education workforce, employers, and whole communities need our action today. As such, this Task Force implores state leaders, organizations, and communities to act decisively and immediately to address the state’s child care needs and set Minnesota on a stable and sustainable path where all families have access to affordable, high-quality early care and education that enriches, nurtures, and supports children and their families.
The recommendations were put into bill format in 2023 House File 2471 and the companion bill Senate File 2229. They were heard in both the House of Representatives and Senate and were both laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill as of March 15, 2023.