Lawmakers consider new bill aimed at helping Minnesota's youth

March 07, 2019 12:17 PM

On Thursday, House lawmakers had their first look at a bill that aims to invest more in Minnesota's youth.

The Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act reportedly includes new investments for prenatal care, child care, early childhood education and development, and home visiting.


Advocates say the average Minnesota family spends about $14,000 per year for children and that this bill would help lower those costs.

The discussion Thursday centered on the early care and development component of the proposal, which includes the creation of the "Great Start Fund." The goal of that fund would be to increase the availability of learning scholarships.

"Funding child care systems has so many benefits," parent Kiarra Zackery said. "It creates opportunities for kids and families, for small business owners, and their communities. I would not be where I am today without child care being made affordable for me. I know there are so many families and working mothers like myself that just need the opportunity to stabilize in order to grow, in order to have the same opportunities my daughters and I have."

Others at the meeting Thursday voiced concerns about where the funding would come from and how it would affect taxpayers.

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Rebecca Omastiak

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