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News & Press: Policy & Advocacy

Special Session Recap, Financial Supports, and More

Monday, June 22, 2020  
Posted by: Lara Richardson
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This email includes information about the following:

Special Session Recap

Despite the legislature failing to come to agreement on a number of issues, they did pass a number of bills that positively impact early childhood and afterschool.

CCAP Reimbursement Rates

The bill raises the rates to the 25th percentile of the most recent market-rate survey, which is from 2018. This brings MN into federal compliance. This will bring an infusion of funding into a program struggling to serve all the families needing help accessing child care, and for programs struggling to stay open amid a pandemic.

Thank you to everyone who took action during regular and special session this year, and in prior years. Raising your voices makes a difference!

Preschool Suspensions

A bill passed eliminating suspensions for 3- and 4-year-olds who attend a school-based early childhood program, only allowing expulsions under rare circumstances after other disciplinary interventions.

Early Learning Scholarships

A bill passed moving the deadline by which child care programs must have a three- or four-star Parent Aware rating to be eligible for early learning scholarships. The current deadline is July 1, 2020. The bill would extend the deadline until July 1, 2024.

Small Business Relief Grants Accepting Applications on June 23

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program  – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – will begin accepting applications tomorrow. More than $60 million is available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law.  A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must be a private, for profit business, have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s  Small Business Relief Grants page.

Nationwide Premiere of "No Small Matter"

We’re proud to partner with No Small Matter on their nationwide premiere on Thursday, June 25, 6:30 p.m., live on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

This free town hall event will include a pre-show (just for kids!), a screening of the feature film, introduced by Alfre Woodard, and a live panel discussion highlighting the devastating impact of COVID-19 on children, families, caregivers, and the economy.

RSVP Today!



Apply for the CARE Public Policy Fellowship

Looking for a challenging leadership opportunity? Interested in having your voice heard in policy discussions? Want to meet people who are as passionate about early childhood and school-age care as you? This opportunity is for you!

The CARE Collaborative is pleased to offer another year of the CARE (Child Care Advocates Ready to Emerge) Public Policy Fellowship (Year 15!) and continue working with professionals in the fields of early childhood and school-age care on how they can be effective advocates for themselves and the profession when engaging and educating policymakers at all levels of government.

This is an excellent leadership development opportunity for those who are interested in learning how to make an impact on public policies affecting the early childhood and school-age care fields.

The program begins in October 2020 and will include nine, once-a-month training sessions. Due to COVID-19, we do not know yet if these sessions will be held face-to-face, virtually or in a hybrid approach. Sessions include networking, mentoring, and hands-on projects to develop advocacy skills. The program is offered at no cost to participants.

Learn More and Apply Today



The CARE Collaborative includes the following organizations. We are all dedicated to building the capacity of advocates in the fields of early childhood and school-age care.

Child Care Aware of Minnesota
Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC) & Minnesota School-Age Care Alliance (MnSACA)
Minnesota Child Care Association (MCCA)
Think Small

There's Still Time! Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program by June 30

The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act was signed into law on June 5, 2020. It updates the terms of the Paycheck Protection Program by lowering the total amount of funds that are required to be spent on payroll and giving borrowers more time to spend the funds.

NAEYC has updated its guidance document to reflect these changes. Check it out here .

There are still funds available, but you must act by June 30.

The Children’s Cabinet collaborated with the Small Business Administration (SBA) Minnesota District Office to host an outreach event for child care providers on Wednesday, June 17.

The webinar included an overview of financial and other business supports available through the SBA and information on how to apply for the PPP, the changes to the program, and information for those who access PPP on meeting the forgiveness criteria. 

You can hear the webinar here .

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