Linking Child Care with Rural Minnesota Economics
Two groups in Minnesota are looking to take more than just baby steps when it comes to educating our youngest. First Children’s Finance and the Initiative Foundation hosted a town hall meeting last night in Brainerd to discuss how to help Rural Minnesota’s economy through child care.
First Children’s Finance’s regional director, Heidi Hagel Braid, says, “So it’s really about exploring child care through the lens of regional child care development. And in greater Minnesota it’s absolutely critical for small towns to attract and retain young families. And child care is a really important piece of the local economy.”
During the town hall meeting they said for every dollar we invest in early child education we get a return of $14 to $17 dollars. And some of those returns are seen quickly in the workplace.
Hagel Braid says, “Great child care that is consistent and reliable allows parents to be at work and productive at work.
Rep Ward says, “Those kind of reason are why this kind of meeting are so important, because we still need to educate so many more people about the importance of early childhood, quality child care and the reasons for that.”
The town hall meeting was meant to educate those in the community especially in childcare. And to find out what could be improved.
Valerie Pflepsen, Stepping Stones Child Care Learning Center’s assistant director says, “It’s definitely a great idea people can get their information out there. They can also bounce ideas off of other people who are in the same field as them.”
The next step is taking the new knowledge from the meeting and implementing it into the community.
Pflepsen says, “Handing out better information to our families on why the education is so important for their birth to five.”
Rep. Ward says, “To make sure we are providing the investment in our earliest learners in order to produce the most positive citizens for the state of Minnesota that we can possibly produce.
The meeting wrapped up with everyone putting their suggestions on the wall for future town hall meetings. To learn more about Thursday’s meeting and their other meeting you visit their website, www.greaterthanmn.org.