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Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced the state will award nearly $2.5 million in additional grants to child care providers in an effort to improve access to affordable child care for Minnesota parents. 

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will distribute the grants to 17 child care organizations, according to the announcement.

In a statement, DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said lack of access to affordable child care continues to hinder workforce growth.

"This grant program has a direct effect on creating more child care slots for parents across Minnesota,” Grove said, adding the recommendations to increase funding for child care providers has been put forth as a key strategy for economic growth by the Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion.

The grant funds can be used in a variety of ways to help grow the supply of affordable, quality childcare. 

Eligible expenses include, for example, costs related to training, facility modifications and direct subsidies or incentives to retain employees. 

“In every community across the state, we hear from families and small businesses that increasing access to affordable child care is the best way to support our work force, grow our economy, and foster economic prosperity,” Walz stated in a press release. “These grants reach communities across our state to help increase child care access and ensure families and our youngest Minnesotans receive the care and early education they deserve.”

According to the announcement, the following childcare providers have been awarded grants during the latest round of funding: 

  • Aitkin County, Aitkin, $100,000. 
  • Chinese American Chamber of Commerce, Bloomington, $200,000.
  • City of Hills, Hills, $120,000.
  • Cook County and Grand Marais EDA, Grand Marais, $180,000.
  • Duluth Area Family YMCA, Duluth, $150,000.
  • Faith Community Development Initiative Inc, Brooklyn Park, $75,000.
  • Greater Bemidji, Inc, Bemidji, $200,000.
  • Jasmin Child Care and Preschool, Moorhead, $120,000.
  • Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar, Willmar, $200,000.
  • Morning Glory Montessori, Minneapolis, $120,000.
  • Nobles County Community Service Agency, Worthington, $150,000.
  • Northland Foundation, Duluth, $250,000.
  • Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Bemidji, $50,000.
  • Otter Tail County, Fergus Falls, $160,000.
  • Somali Community Resettlement Services, Minneapolis, $50,000.
  • Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Owatonna, $200,000.
  • WildFlower Foundation, Minneapolis, $100,000.

All communities receiving grant support have a documented shortage of child care providers, according to the state. 

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