February 2012

Slawik Announces Child Care Affordability Act

Patty Busse | Stillwater Patch | February 14, 2012

Rep. Nora Slawik announced introduction of the Child Care Affordability Act Tuesday in the home of a St. Paul day care provider.

“How can we look at funding the Vikings stadium for $300 million and we can’t find the money for kids down at the Capitol?” said Slawik (DFL-Maplewood). “We need to make sure there’s high quality, affordable childcare.”

The bill, HF2219, would restore the 2.5 percent rate cut made to subsidized child care providers in the 2011 legislative session and eliminate the waiting list for child care assistance, which is now 7,000 families long, Slawik said.

Child care provider Sharon Born, of Waseca, said she’s had to start working evenings and weekends to make up for the money she lost due to the child care assistance cuts. Despite the hardship, she said her primary concern is what’s happening to the children in the 7,000 families on the waiting list for assistance.

“Who’s watching these kids?” Born said. “My experience is a lot of these kids are not safe.”

The reforms set forth in the bill—which also include reinstating funding for professional development of child care providers—wouldn’t come cheap. Its estimated cost would be between $300 million and $500 million, which Slawik noted, is about the same as the proposed state contribution toward the Vikings stadium.

“There’s a cost to taking care of kids,” Slawik said. “I think kids should be the priority in this state.”

Sen. Mary Jo McGuire (DFL-Falcon Heights) authored the Senate version of the bill.

Leave a comment

New Bill Would Help Make Child Care More Affordable

Michelle Knoll | KSTP TV | February 14, 2012

There’s a new push to help Minnesota parents pay for child care.  Rep. Nora Slawik (DFL) and Sen. Mary Jo McGuire (DFL) announced the Child Care Affordability Act Tuesday.

It would restore funding to child care providers, money that was lost last year in order to balance the budget.

It would make sure providers are reimbursed at 75-percent of the market rate. It would also reinstate funding for professional development of child care providers and get rid of the waiting list for child care in the state.

Daycare providers at Tuesday’s announcement say they’re making their own incomes go as far as possible to care for these kids. They say it’s not fair to keep raising rates on parents.

The proposal would cost between $300 million and $500 million dollars.

Slawik and McGuire want to pay for the bill by taxing the rich or attaching it to a Vikings stadium bill.

Leave a comment

Lawmakers Introduce Child Care Affordability Act

Holly Wagner | WCCO TV | February 14, 2012

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Two state lawmakers say before the legislature focuses on a Vikings Stadium, they should make up for big cuts to child care.

Rep. Nora Slawik and Sen. Mary Jo McGuire introduced the “Child Care Affordability Act” Tuesday, outlining a plan to help parents, especially those living paycheck-to-paycheck, pay for child care and help child care providers who are now receiving less money from the state.

Child care providers who are licensed through the state, mostly those who provide care to low-income families, recently took a 2.5 percent cut in the amount of funding they receive.

The proposed child care act would help bridge that gap in funding, and help more than 7,000 Minnesota families that are currently on a waiting list for child care assistance.

Lawmakers say the cost to help these families would range between $300 million and $500 million.

The authors of the bill also announced two plans to help pay for child care costs. They say they’d like to either tax the rich to come up with the funding or pass a bill that could be attached to a proposed Vikings stadium plan — one where the revenue could come from gambling. They say the money could fund child care, as well as the new stadium.

“How can we look at funding a Vikings stadium for $300 million when we can’t find money for kids at the Capitol,” said Rep. Slawik.

Day care providers stood by as the Child Care Affordability Act was announced, including Sharon Born, who works nights and weekends to try and make up the money she lost because of state cuts.

“I don’t want to work seven days a week, 16 hours a day. I am a single mom, you have to do, what you have to do,” she said.

Leave a comment