The State of Minnesota Department of Human Services has directed $75,000 per year for the next two years to the Northland Foundation. The grant will support efforts to expand child care access and quality in northeastern Minnesota. Northland will implement the funds to provide training and incentives to help child care providers increase their expertise, attain or increase their Parent Aware rating, and apply for grants to start or expand a child care business.
“We have been helping child care providers access training and business planning, as well as offered child care start-up and expansion grants,” stated Tony Sertich, Northland Foundation President, “and the demand exceeds available resources. The State funding will help further address the great need our region has around child care.”
The Northland Foundation, along with the other five Minnesota Initiative Foundations serving the rural regions of the state, each received similar funding. Minnesota, especially small communities and rural areas, has a major shortage of available child care. Northland Foundation's service area has the highest shortfall statewide, more than 50 percent.
“We know families are facing big challenges finding quality child care right now, especially in rural Minnesota,” said Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Tony Lourey. “We need to help communities find the solutions that will address this need, and we see this partnership with the Minnesota Initiative Foundations as an important part of the solution.”
The Medica Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 Core Mission Grant to the Northland Foundation to support efforts aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of children birth to age eight.
“We are so pleased to continue our partnership with the Medica Foundation to help children and families thrive,” stated Lynn Haglin, Vice President/KIDS PLUS Director. “Their funding commitment enables us to offer greater support for communities in northeastern Minnesota.”
Resources from the Medica Foundation will help provide professional development opportunities and programming to bolster the capacity of community-based organizations, child care, and schools to meet the social and emotional needs of the region’s young children and their families.