ST. PAUL – State Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, has received an appointment to the newly created Family Child Care Task Force.
A primary objective for the panel will be to help resolve issues child care providers face regarding state licensing and inspections, some of which have led to the closure of family child care programs. The task force also may propose regulatory reforms to improve efficiencies in child care.
Demuth said these and other aspects she hopes to take on with the task force have contributed to a shortage of child care providers throughout the state, particularly in Greater Minnesota.
“Healthy families result in healthy communities and a crucial component in that equation is ensuring quality, affordable child care is available to families while they are working,” said Demuth, who also serves the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division. “The key is striking a balance between making sure our children are receiving safe care while also allowing child care providers to function as best and as equitably as they can.”
A 2017 report by Child Care Aware ranks Minnesota the fifth least affordable child care state at an average cost of $15,340 per year, another issue Demuth said also needs to be addressed.
“High child care costs have compounded problems regarding our workforce shortage here in Greater Minnesota,” Demuth said. “It is hard to attract young families to parts of the state like ours when they don’t have quality, affordable child care options available to them. I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity to serve on this task force so I can help find workable solutions on this very important subject.”
The task force was established through legislation enacted in May. The panel is required to submit a report to the Legislature by Feb. 1, 2021, outlining the group’s findings and recommendations and including any draft legislation necessary to implement the changes.
Demuth is one of two House members named to the task force. She was appointed by House Republican Leader Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.