Report provides new data on child care provider shortage in Greater Minnesota

The Center for Rural Policy and Development has released an updated child care report, available here. The report reaffirms our need to stay committed to advocating for policies and investments that address the unique circumstance Greater Minnesota faces due to our deficit of more than 39,000 child care slots.

One of the most startling findings from the report is that Greater Minnesota lost more than 20,000 child care slots between 2000 and 2020, a net loss of 17.4% of capacity. The total loss comes from a dramatic reduction in the number of family care providers, which saw capacity shrink by 35,455 slots. We actually saw an increase of 15,203 additional child care center slots in those 20 years, but it still left a total loss of more than 20,000 slots. This indicates that although we see child care deficits throughout all Greater Minnesota cities, a larger portion of the disappearing child care slots likely came from smaller cities and rural communities. During that same time, the Twin Cities metro area only lost 2,688 slots, a loss of 2.1%. Much like Greater Minnesota, the Twin Cities saw a significant reduction in the number of available family care slots, but it was offset by an almost 1-for-1 increase in child care center slots.

In comparing child care shortfall totals by region from 2015 to 2020, shortages worsened in the Northwest, West Central, and Central regions, stayed about the same in in Southwest, and shrunk in the Northeast and Southern regions.