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Minnesota would benefit from less strict childcare business regulation

The state of Minnesota, like some other states, have encouraged child care providers to stay open. This is to make sure essential workers can still access care in the meantime. However, this has put childcare providers in a tough situation. Many childcare centers are struggling to get by financially.

As costs for new cleaning regimens mount, center-based organizations say parents that are laid off or working from home are not bringing kids in for care, threatening tuition income that supports the businesses. The longer schools and businesses stay shut, the more uncertain the future is for many providers.

Childcare providers are operating in less than full capacity, facing continually decreasing demand. If the shut down goes any further, most will see the loss of business and possibly shut down for good. This is why the MCCA (Minnesota Child Care Association) is calling for financial support for private childcare providers. The MCCA is calling for federal and state financial help for providers that are strained and are on the verge of closing.

While it will indeed be hard for child care centers to stay open without financial help, this is a problem that a lot of businesses are facing. The longer the lockdown goes, the bigger the possibility a lot of businesses will go out of businesses, not just childcare providers. But as far as childcare is concerned there is also something we get to realize in these tough times. And that is the fact that as a state we could benefit from having more family child care providers.

Family childcare providers are generally less expensive and they operate at very low levels of capacity.  So, in a pandemic like this one, they would be able to stay without incurring financial stress, unlike center-based providers. But the state of Minnesota has been losing family childcare providers the last couple of years partly due to increasing and changing regulatory environment. The state should therefore consider loosening some requirements for staffing and standards for childcare businesses (especially family child care providers). This will help bring more providers into the market and help existing ones to stay in business, which will especially be helpful in satisfying increased demand for childcare services once the lockdown is lifted.

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