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Committee hears Family Child Care Task Force legislative recommendations

Providers, licensors, lawmakers and others interested in family child care have spent the past two years working together in a manner that has rarely been seen in this industry. Their efforts have culminated in the Family Child Care Task Force report.

Sponsored by Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL-White Bear Township), HF2003, as amended, would implement the legislative recommendations outlined in that final report.

The bill was held over by the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee Tuesday for possible omnibus bill inclusion. The companion, SF1762, awaits action by the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee. Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) is the sponsor.

The 2019 Legislature established the Family Child Care Task Force and directed it to make recommendations in eight areas related to family child care licensing, provider support and the Parent Aware program. The task force submitted its final report to the Legislature last month. 

“It was a lot of hours spent in our larger task force and in our smaller work groups getting the work done and really digging into these issues,” Wazlawik said. “I think that the end product has really been something that is widely supported and that will make a big difference for family child care providers.”

One notable provision would appropriate money to create an Office of Ombudsperson for Child Care Providers to assist providers with licensing and compliance. The provision is also encompassed in a standalone bill, HF61, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Demuth (R-Cold Spring).

“One of the things that did come out of the findings of the task force was the need for an ombudsperson,” she said. “We definitely need to have someone that our providers can go to with all of their questions. That position does not exist at this point and this is a way that we can help further stand up this industry, meet the needs that there are and get those questions answered.”

The bill includes the following appropriations in fiscal year 2022:

  • $1.65 million over base for the Department of Human Services to arrange an independent evaluation of Minnesota’s quality rating and improvement system, commonly known as Parent Aware;
  • $1.17 million for the department’s family child care regulation modernization project; and
  • an unspecified one-time appropriation to the Department of Employment and Economic Development for grants to local communities to increase the supply of child care providers.

Other policy provisions would:

  • establish a training advisory committee to advise the department on the training requirements for licensed family child care providers;
  • require the department to develop a proposal for a one-stop regional assistance network to assist individuals with matters relating to starting or sustaining a licensed family child care program; and
  • require the department to develop recommended, but not required, orientation training for newly licensed family child care providers by July 1, 2022.


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