Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education in Minnesota

The national consensus study report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education, describes the current landscape of early care and education financing in the United States, analyzes where it falls short and makes 10 recommendations to achieve the vision of a transformed, effective early care and education financing structure.

Recommendation Six states that:

A coalition of public and private funders should support the development and implementation of a first round of local-, state-, and national-level strategic business plans to guide transitions toward a reformed financing structure for high-quality early care and education.

Transforming Minnesota’s Early Childhood Workforce Project has worked with two key subcommittees, Moving the Needle on Compensation Team and the Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education in Minnesota Team, to develop recommendations to address the broken economic model of early care and education in our state.

We have released our report with specific recommendations:

Ensure adequate and reliable funding so that all families have access to high- quality, affordable early care and education that meets their needs.

1.1.  Support the lowest-income families with high-quality early care and education that requires no family contribution.

1.2.  Ensure that other families have access to affordable, high-quality care by capping family contributions at an affordable amount.

1.3.  Gradually increase the family contribution rate relative to family income to avoid a benefits “cliff” where small changes in family income mean the loss of financial support.

Ensure adequate and reliable funding so that the early childhood workforce is qualified, diverse, supported and equitably compensated.

2.1. Provide early childhood educators with equitable compensation that reflects their importance in educating children and supporting the larger economy.

2.2.  Support the establishment of an Early Care and Education Profession in Minnesota through the adoption of the Power to the Profession Framework for defining and advancing the field and align compensation to the framework through the use of wage scales and other mechanisms.

2.3.  Support early childhood professionals in earning early childhood credits and degrees and invest in the institutes of higher education that confer credentials.

Reform financing so that early care and education is fully funded as a public good.

3.1.  Align or change existing funding models around a larger strategy for ensuring accessible high-quality early care and education for all Minnesota’s families.

3.2.  State financing mechanisms, together with federal contributions, should cover the total cost of high-quality care and education.

3.3.  Engage and educate the public regarding the importance of financing a high- quality early care and education system. This should include more clearly explaining the larger benefits of increasing compensation for the workforce, creation of a communication plan for the advocacy field and framing early care and education as a system designed to support all Minnesota families and our economy.

You can read the full report here.

Additional Resources on Minnesota’s Efforts:

October 2020 Prenatal to Three Policy Forum (starts at about minute 46:00)

October 2019: Prenatal to Three Policy Forum

Additional Information on National Efforts to Transform the Financing of Early Care and Education:

New America’s Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education: A Multimedia Guidebook

Interactive Overview of Report Highlights

Report Highlights

Issue Brief for Policy Makers

%d bloggers like this: