SAINT PAUL, Minn.— The Minnesota House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division, chaired by Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL – St. Paul), approved two division reports yesterday evening, completing its regular work for the session. The bills (HF 1801, as amended, and HF 2610, as amended) will be sent to the Health and Human Services Finance and Education Finance Divisions, respectively.
“All children deserve a great start to life,” said Rep. Pinto. “We all benefit when that happens. I’m excited to move forward with an ambitious agenda on behalf of the youngest Minnesotans.”
Provisions in the bills parallel House File 1, the Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act, a top priority for the House DFL. As with the Great Start Act, the bills would expand home visiting, a voluntary service that helps to stabilize families at risk. They would expand access to early care and learning for an estimated 8,000 young children through increased investment in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), early learning scholarships, and voluntary pre-kindergarten. And they would provide grants to address Minnesota’s child care shortage.
Other measures in the bills would ensure program integrity, enhancing the ability of investigators to identify and prove any misuse of funds and at the same time helping to prevent such misuse from happening in the first place.
“Especially as a prosecutor, I’m appalled by any diversion of funds from children and families who need them,” said Pinto. “Our bills address such wrongdoing while continuing to invest in this critical program.”
Specific provisions in the Education Finance division report include the following:
Specific provisions in the Health & Human Services division report relating to CCAP include the following:
Other highlights in the Health & Human Services division report include: