Child care focus of mini-session joint hearing

Tim Penny discusses the child care crisis during a joint committee hearing as part of the Minnesota House’s ‘mini session’ in southeastern Minnesota.

The Minnesota House of Representatives held its mini-session in Winona and other southeast Minnesota communities over three days this week. Most committees held some sort of event, whether it was a formal hearing, community presentation, or a tour or visit to learn more about infrastructure needs or to learn about segments of the state’s economy, including food production and health care.

On Thursday, the Early Childhood Committee and the Jobs and Economic Development Committee held a joint hearing on the child care crisis, with a particular focus on the part of the state the legislators were visiting.

Tim Penny, president of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and a member of the GMNP board, provided an overview of what is driving the child care provider shortage in Greater Minnesota, and how the shortage is impacting employers and workers.

The committees then heard a presentation from a collaboration in Austin that is bringing a variety of community stakeholders—the city, schools, child care providers and businesses—together to develop community strategies to address their specific child care shortage. The collaboration is supported by the funding CGMC secured last session to expand on the Minnesota Initiative Foundations’ child care work.

For more information on the joint hearing, see this Forum Communications article.