WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured more than $2.6 million in federal funding through the Fiscal Year 2023 budget to improve access to affordable child care in Luverne. Specifically, the resources will enable the renovation, construction, and furnishing of a new child care facility to serve families in Luverne and surrounding communities.
“The struggle to find high-quality, affordable child care is a challenge for far too many parents in Luverne and across our state,” said Klobuchar. “By providing funding to build a new childcare facility, this project will help increase access to affordable child care in Luverne. I’m proud to have worked with local leaders to secure these resources.”
“Access to childcare is a key component to giving parents the freedom to work while ensuring their children are safe and taken care of,” said Smith. “Too often, people in rural communities have to travel long distances to take their kids to childcare. This is an important project that is going to expand access for people living in Luverne by making 186 new spots available. I’m proud of the work we did with local leaders to make this possible.”
The funding will transform an existing 30,000-square-foot facility into a childcare center for 186 children, including 24 infants, 42 toddlers, 60 preschoolers, and 60 school-age children.
Klobuchar has long been a leader in the fight to secure affordable child care and help parents re-enter the workforce should they desire to. Klobuchar leads the bipartisan Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act with Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), which would provide grants to support the education, training, and retention of the child care workforce, as well as the building, renovating, and expanding child care facilities in areas with child care shortages, including rural areas.
Smith serves on the Senate Education Committee and has been a vocal leader for expanding access to affordable childcare. Earlier this year, she teamed up with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to lead more than 150 members of Congress in urging President Biden to address the childcare crisis. She has supported legislation to lower the cost of childcare for families, expand access to pre-K, and invest in early childhood workforce and infrastructure.
Klobuchar and Smith have been actively involved in securing this federal funding for projects benefiting communities across the state through a process called “Congressionally Directed Spending” (CDS). During the CDS process, Klobuchar and Smith have considered project proposals and advocated for funding in close coordination with leaders from across the state.
Projects are expected to receive funding over the next several months.