Higher Minnesota’s baby care disaster squeezed by pandemic

Childcare workers have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic as their costs have increased and families temporarily pulled their children out. However, the Greater Minnesota metropolitan area was struggling with a lack of childcare even before the arrival of COVID-19.

For the past 20 years, family childcare businesses in rural Minnesota have closed faster than new ones can open. Greater Minnesota has lost 20,000 childcare places in two decades, according to a recent report from the Center for Rural Policy and Development.

In the partner cities, the loss of home daycare was largely offset by the spread of daycare. In less densely populated areas, however, daycare centers are less financially viable.

What can be done to ensure childcare is thriving in the greater Minnesota area to support working families and economic growth?

On Tuesday at 11 a.m., host Angela Davis will speak to a researcher and owner of a childcare center about challenges and innovations in rural childcare.

And we want to hear from our listeners. Are you a parent seeking childcare in the greater Minnesota area? Are you a vendor? Call 651-227-6000 during 11am or tweet @AngelaDavisMPR to join the conversation.


  • Marnie Werner is Vice President Research and Operations at the Center for Rural Policy and Development in Mankato, Minn.

  • Karen DeVos is the owner of the Little Learners Child Care Center in Ada, Minnesota and a former family carer.

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