It's not just Southern Minnesota but pretty much everywhere, the Child Care Shortage. In Minnesota from 2006-2015 the number of licensed in home family child care providers decreased by 27%. The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation pointed out that recent research showed there is a potential need of over 8,900 licensed child care slots.

The SMIF has selected five communities to take part in a new program called Communities Addressing the Child Care Shortage. The five communities are Albert Lea (Albert Lea Economic Development Agency), Austin (United Way of Mower County), the cities of Eagle Lake and Wells and Watonwan County(Watonwan County Early Childhood Initiative). When total it up, these five communities are short over 1,800 child care slots.

Each of the five communities will work with SMIF for 6 to 18 months to develop individualized action plans to address local child care needs. After this process is finished the five selected communities will become eligible for competitive grants of up to $10,000 to support the implementation of their plans.

Catherine Yeulet Townsquaremedia