Day care centers depending on the federal state for federal funding allocation
It looks and sounds more like it should be at Listo’s Preschool and Childcare in Rochester.
Children play together and a full staff helps.
“We have a very close-knit community,” said Viriadna Anguiano, program director. “When we say it’s a school family, it really is.”
But more than a year ago the classroom was almost empty.
“We dropped a lot of registrations and it was a struggle at the beginning because we also needed money to stay afloat,” said Anguiano.
But even if more children are enrolling now, providers said funding shouldn’t stop.
Anguiano said the money isn’t just keeping the doors open, especially as an English-Spanish dual immersion program.
“I have a feeling we touch a lot of families,” said Anguiano. “It’s not just about them coming to our school, it’s about people who want it better for them.”
Helping families makes the already tight budget vendors receive well worth the work.
“We are here because we know this is vital and important work,” said Karin Swenson, general manager of the Meadow Park Preschool and Child Care Center.
However, to do this work, major changes beyond federal funding are required to fix the childcare system. She said there is a need for more affordable childcare and better pay for employees overall.
“The government money was great, but now it’s dwindling and we’re still in the same place as we were before the pandemic,” Swenson said.
Swenson said she hoped the allocation of that federal funding would be used effectively. In the long term, she also hopes for higher reimbursement rates for the childcare industry.
“Our lawmakers really dropped the ball when we got all this money from the federal government. They could have done something really big, systemic.” [changes]”said Swenson.” It doesn’t happen.
The providers will continue to do their job because so many families depend on them.
“If the government were able to provide more for us, I think they would benefit because then these children become doctors, people who matter,” Anguiano said.
An investment of today that could change children’s lives in the future.
Minnesota lawmakers must reach an agreement by the end of the month, including the $ 52 billion budget, or risk another government shutdown.