Washington, DC [9.21.22] — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant federal funding that will help provide childcare for low-income parents who face additional challenges in accessing postsecondary education. The grants, which total over $650,000, will support four years of campus-based childcare programs at St. Cloud State University and Minneapolis Community & Technical College.
“For far too many parents across our state, the struggle to find high-quality, affordable childcare serves as a barrier preventing them from pursuing higher education or reentering the workforce,” said Klobuchar. “This funding will enable parents attending St. Cloud State University and Minneapolis College to access convenient child care services, allowing them to continue their education and providing their children with the foundational care they need.”
“Parents in Minnesota tell me all the time how limiting a lack of affordable childcare can be. I’ve heard from families who have to drive 50 miles to take their kids to childcare, and others who are paying almost one-third of their income toward the cost of childcare for just one kid,” said Sen. Smith. “A lack of affordable childcare should not be a barrier for parents who want to go back to school. This funding for campus-based childcare programs will go a long ways towards supporting student parents enrolled at St. Cloud State and MCTC.”
The funding was made available through the Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program, which provides grants to support the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based childcare services.
Klobuchar has long been a leader in the fight to secure affordable childcare. Klobuchar leads the bipartisan Childcare Workforce and Facilities Act with Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), which would provide grants to support the education, training, and retention of the childcare workforce, as well as the building, renovating, and expanding childcare facilities in areas with childcare shortages, including rural areas. In March of 2021, Klobuchar introduced the bicameral Marshall Plan for Moms Resolution to support mothers as they reenter the workforce.
As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), Sen. Smith has long made childcare access and affordability a top priority. After holding “Childcare Access and Affordability” listening sessions in 13 communities across Minnesota, she has introduced legislation to expand the supply and quality of childcare. She has regularly pushed for increased investment in important programs like Head Start, the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS). Last year, she led the successful effort to secure more than $40 billion for childcare and early learning resources as part of the American Rescue Plan. With the funding from the third relief package, $10 billion from the December-passed relief bill, and the $3.5 billion provided in the CARES Act, Senator Smith made good on her push for $50 billion for childcare, which she called for at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.