2020 Legislative Agenda
The Sheltering Arms Foundation advocates for policies that support:
Affordable, high-quality, flexible and culturally appropriate early childhood care and education to support families and prepare children to be ready for kindergarten.
- Fully support Parent Aware to continue expansion of high quality learning throughout Minnesota and to provide for rated providers. Parent Aware should put a priority on stronger recognition and incorporation of cultural competency. Outcome: Legislation passed to enable families to use early learning scholarships in any program participating in Parent Aware until 2024.
- Ongoing focus on ensuring that families most in need can access high quality learning and care programs that meet the needs of the entire family. This includes defending and expanding early learning scholarships for children birth to five and advocating for full federal conformity for the Child Care Assistance Program. Outcome: Child Care Assistance provider reimbursement rates increased to 25% of market rate, helping providers and unlocking $65 million in federal funding for the program. Peacetime Emergency childcare provider grants of $30 million were made available to providers caring for the children of essential workers.
- Defending previous gains and expand access to high quality targeted home visiting to support healthy parent-child development, starting prenatally. Outcome: Previous gains defended but no further funding allocated.
- Support expansion of early childhood mental health consultation services. Outcome: No funding allocated this year.
- Support early childhood provider skill development and workforce growth. Outcome: New requirement for an additional 4 hours of training for substitute earl childhood teachers.
High quality, developmentally and culturally appropriate out-of-school-time and mentoring programs for Minnesota children.
- Support Ignite Afterschool’s campaign to create a new funding stream of $25 million/year that will provide afterschool and summer learning programs for an additional 25,000 young people eligible for free and reduced lunch by funding competitive grants to afterschool and summer learning programs. Outcome: No funding allocated this year for this funding stream although several hearings were held on the issue. The CCAP provider reimbursement increase will impact afterschool child care providers of children 12 and under.
- Support youth worker skill development opportunities and workforce growth. Outcome: No funding allocated this year.
Our policy agenda was developed to align with our collective impact partners Start Early Funders Coalition and Ignite Afterschool.