SAINT PAUL – Jan. 25, 2022 – Today, Governor Walz announced historic investments in Minnesota’s families and children designed to make Minnesota the best state in the country for kids to grow up and families to thrive. Kids Count On Us is excited to see the governor prioritize kids, families, providers and the childcare workforce through bringing many of the initiatives that we believe are vital to the forefront with these investments.

“This funding is a true game changer for child care providers and the families we serve,” said Nicole Flick, owner of ABC123 Child Enrichment Center in Dilworth, MN. “The whole reason I opened a child care center is because I couldn’t afford child care.  At least one child care center closes every week and we’re running out of time.” 

The governor’s plan calls for $5.1 billion to be spent over the next three years. $2.6 billion of that is directed to early care and education making it the largest investment the state has ever made in this area. This investment is incredibly crucial. Minnesota’s childcare system was unsustainable even before the pandemic, and the challenges of the last two years have laid bare how necessary it is that Minnesota fully fund a mixed delivery childcare system–for our kids, for our families, for our providers and teachers that work in child care, and for our society that depends so intricately on child care to function.

The cost of childcare should not be a barrier to receiving it, but for far too many families in Minnesota, that is the case. Kids Count On Us has long organized to fully fund the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), bringing reimbursement rates to the federally-recommended 75th percentile, as well as eliminating the waitlist, so that every family who needs assistance can immediately receive it. Since drastic cuts made in 2003, Minnesota has been operating at a terrifyingly low investment rate for our Child Care Assistance Program. We are excited to see that Governor Walz is proposing to fully fund Child Care Assistance. We know that this will have an enormous impact on families, who will finally have access to the kind of care that is best for them, but also on providers, who will have greater resources to support, care for, and educate our children. This is fantastic news for Minnesota’s families and child care providers. 

“The proposal to increase rates to the federal standard would make a monumental difference,” said Monique Webb Stumon, Director of School Readiness Learning Academy in North Minneapolis. “It would allow us to purchase materials, train and retain our teachers by offering higher wages, and provide more help to our families.”

Early in the pandemic, child care providers received direct support grants. These grants enabled many providers who were at risk of closing to stay open. It allowed them to provide high quality care at affordable prices, modeling what a fully funded child care system could be. Governor Walz has prioritized funds for this to continue, which will be a huge boost to child care centers and family providers across the state. 

Many other incredible priorities have been included in the Governor’s proposal, including more funding for families to access care, supporting full service community schools which provide wrap-around services for families with children from birth through high school, mental health supports for children beginning at birth, home visiting for all children, free school meals, and more. We are excited that this budget is prioritizing kids, families, providers and teachers, and know it has the ability to create huge impacts in our early care and education system in Minnesota.


ISAIAH is a statewide organization of over 200 congregations, 50 mosques, 500 childcare centers, and dozens of barber shops in Minnesota. Altogether, these institutions represent over half a million Minnesotans. Our mission is to enable people to work together to organize and advocate for racial, social and economic justice.

Kids Count on Us, an initiative of ISAIAH, is a coalition of over 500 child care providers across Minnesota united for respect and dignity with parents, teachers and providers