Who are we?
Kids Count on Us is a coalition of community-based childcare providers, teachers, and families from across the state of Minnesota. We believe that all children have the right to high-quality and culturally relevant early care and education. That’s why we do community and political organizing towards a fully funded childcare system that centers the voices of childcare providers and families. Full funding includes living wages for teachers, resources for centers, and access to care for all families- no matter where they live or what’s in their wallets.
Together, we have the power to hold our policymakers accountable and demand access to an early childhood education system that works for all of us. You as the parents, teachers, and providers hold the power to change legislation to make equitable, accessible, and quality early childcare a reality for everyone.
We are a coalition of ISAIAH, a statewide multifaith and values based organization working towards a multiracial democracy and caring economy. Kids Count On Us started in 2017, and has grown to more than 500 community-based childcare centers across the state. Over the past four years we have worked to increase the reimbursement rates for childcare assistance, get providers at the table and more transparency from DHS on decision-making, and win more funding for all parts of the early childhood system. We won an increase in rates last summer, pushed the governor to include a rate increase in his 2021 budget proposal, and have a bill (HF1474, SF2170) in the legislature to raise the rate to 75%. In the summer of 2020, KCOU organized with parents, providers, and teachers against DHS’s attempt to require biometric data collection on children and families who receive child care assistance.
Currently, in the 2021 legislative session in addition to our bill to increase reimbursement rates, we have two other bills in the legislative session. One, HF1278 paints the big vision of the fully-funded early childhood system we need to build where teachers make a living wage and families pay no more than 7% of their income. Lastly, HF 1024 would create a department of early childhood at the state level to prioritize early childhood and give providers, teachers, and families a voice in funding and regulation decisions.
Contact us learn more and to join our state-wide movement!