Child-care providers brace for tougher state rules


Minnesota's 11,000 day-care providers are gearing up for a fight when the Legislature convenes in January, the Star Tribune reports. State regulators are looking for ways to make child care safer in Minnesota after the number of deaths at licensed facilities across the state have spiked since 2007.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services released a memo regarding the rise in deaths, 51 from 2007-2011, which is more than twice as many that occurred between 2002-2007.

Cutting the state-mandated adult-to-child ratio, higher staffing levels at home day cares and stiffer penalties for violating safe-sleep standards are among the controversial recommendations, according to the Minneapolis-based newspaper. Many providers argue the new requirements will only increase cost for parents and force quality providers to shut down.

Minnesota is the 6th most expensive state to raise children, according to the Fiscal Times.

According to the report, Minnesotans spend an average of $9,700 in full-time childcare per year, which is almost as expensive as the cost of tuition at a public university, nearly $10,400 on average.

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Panel recommends tougher requirements for at-home daycare providers

An increase in child deaths has prompted a state panel to recommend tougher safety requirements for at-home daycare providers. Three-fourths of the 96 deaths reported since 2002 involved sleeping infants. The panel says more training and consequences for providers is needed. Lucinda Jesson, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, is trying to get legislative leaders on board after seeing resistance to legislation in the past.

2 Twin Cities child-care providers where infants died shut down by state

Public records reveal that two child-care centers that failed to follow safe-sleep practices where infants died this year have been shut down by state regulators. A Carver County licensing inspector has also been found at fault for not following through on sanctions in one of the cases, which was discovered just days before an infant's death.