Children thrive when their basic needs are met and they have access to opportunities that put them on a path to success. At CDF-MN, we teach the public about the challenges that face our state’s children and advocate for state and local policies that strengthen families and improve child health and well-being. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities.
Investments in children come back to us many-fold. When we invest in children, we increase the likelihood that they will grow up healthy and become contributing members of our society, helping to secure the future prosperity of our state.
Below are our comprehensive policy priorities and the evidence-based reason they will improve the lives of children and families and, in turn, all of us. Our 2019 Legislative Agenda included many of these priorities and we made significant progress this past session but there is more work to do together in the future.
2019 Legislative Session Recap
In 2019, the Minnesota Legislature and Governor’s Office took important steps to improve the lives of children and to help bring economic stability to families and improve child outcomes all across our state. This progress is exciting and should be celebrated. However, although this session brought needed advancements for children and families, there are still critical policy issues that remain unmoved. We will look forward to the next legislative session to continue to prioritize these issues, like access to affordable child care and Paid Family & Medical leave, and to advocate for policies that put children and families at the center of our state’s budget.
- Health Care Provider Tax: Permanently continued, although at a lower rate (from 2% to 1.8%).
- Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development Grant Program: Received $4 million in funding over four years. Grants will go to nonprofits or tribal organizations that are run by or for communities of color and American Indian communities and who work on healthy early childhood development.
- Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) Cash Grant Increase: $100 increase to the cash grant. This is the first increase in 33 years.
- Working Family Credit: Roughly $30 million/year increase in the credit. These increases will go to expansions that include workers without children, including young adult workers, and families with three or more children.
- 2020 Census: $1.6 million included for 2020 Census complete count outreach funding.
- Child Care Assistance: Conformity to federally required provisions of the renewed Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) was passed, including family-friendly provisions that provide better and more streamlined assistance for families experiencing homelessness, families that move to counties with child care waitlists, and reducing MFIP participation requirements in order to receive “transition year” child care. However, no progress was seen in relation to buying down the Basic Sliding Fee wait list or increases to provider reimbursement rates. Affordable child care will remain inaccessible for thousands of Minnesota families until we make needed investments to our state’s child care program.
- Paid Family & Medical Leave: Despite strong support from the Governor’s Office and the Minnesota House, Paid Family & Medical Leave was not included in the final budget deal. In spite of legislative inaction, incredible progress was made in raising the profile of this overwhelmingly popular policy.
CDF-MN Policy Priorities
Quality Child Care Improves Our Society
Child care is a two-generation approach to family economic security. Working parents need reliable child care in order to work and provide for their families. When parents are able to access stable, high-quality care, their children flourish from kindergarten to career.
Child Deserve Comprehensive Healthcare
To survive and thrive, all children need access to comprehensive healthcare. Unmet health and mental health needs can result in children falling behind developmentally and having trouble catching up physically, socially and academically.
Early Childhood Development
Ensuring access to quality early childhood and development opportunities can help give every child a strong start in life.
Working Families and Economic Stability
Most Minnesota children have all available parents in the workforce. Supporting the needs of working families and bringing all families to economic stability will help put children on the path to success.
To maintain and expand upon the gains we have made for children and families and to secure our collective future prosperity, we will need to make sure our investments and policies reflect the needs of our changing population. Keep up with CDF-MN’s advocacy work at the capitol.