Childcare is an important part of families, businesses and the workforce in our Northland communities.
“Every day in northeast Minnesota, 3,700 children do not have access to child care. It is an obstacle for them and their families and an obstacle for the future of our economy. This is holding us back as a region, so this is an effort to address the workforce challenges that we see across industries, but are very specific to our child care providers,” said Northland Foundation President Tony Sertich.
The Northland Foundation has launched a pilot program to help implement staff attraction and retention in the event of child care shortages. This program is only available to daycare programs in the City of Duluth to begin and eventually be eligible for the seven counties and five tribal nations that the Northland Foundation also provides services.
“The Duluth 1200 Fund is providing $300,000 to the Northland Foundation and its Workforce Solutions Pilot Project. These funds will be made available to child care providers to help them attract and retain the employees needed to help care for the most valuable members of our community, our children,” said the president of the Duluth 1200 fonds, Deb Otto.
Applications are available online nowand the deadline is December 13, and after the first of the year, a funding decision will be made.
Funding for the program is a $300,000 grant to the City of Duluth’s 1200 Fund and other partners, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.
Sertich describes the range of amounts for these grants, “Grants ranged from $1,500 to $12,000 depending on the number of children these facilities serve. But, we hope this is an opportunity that they can invest in their workforce, either existing or by attracting new workers to this industry, which will help child care providers themselves. , help the children of their families, and help the workforce and our economy move forward. northeast Minnesota.
Because child care is important to parents, it is also important that licensed child care programs can hire these employees.
Duluth Workforce Development Manager Elena Foshay said, “Child care is a critically important workforce issue on both sides. Parents need reliable and affordable child care so they can go to work, and child care centers and providers are employers, and they need workers to help them fulfill their responsibility to support the workforce. of work in our community”,