Joint Religious Legislative Coalition

Focus Area: Advocacy in Early Childhood

Grant Amount: $10,000

Based in Minneapolis, serves statewide. Founded in 1971, JRLC is a statewide faith-based advocacy coalition fiscal-agented by the Minnesota Council of Churches and governed by MCC, the Jewish Community Relations, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, and the Islamic Center of Minnesota. It mobilizes religious communities to influence public policy for social justice in Minnesota.

Grant supports advocacy work for increased funding of Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), a critical element of which is to increase the provider rate, as the low rates of reimbursement per child have led to unsustainable business models for childcare centers and family childcare programs that accept low-income children. Last summer, the legislature increased provider rates just enough to reflect the 25th percentile of market rates based on a 2018 survey, the minimum required for federal compliance. This year, the legislature will again be asked to raise the rate, but this time using the most recent survey. Advocates are also fighting to get that compliance rate to the 50th percentile of market rates rather than just meeting the minimum again.