When teachers are away from the classrooms in the summer, their children frequently stay home with them.
While this time together is great for the parent and the child, for the child care provider it can cause financial instability.
An example of this is Kelliher Kids, a child care center that is part of the Kelliher school.
Many of the children cared for in this center have teachers for parents. As the school year ends each year, enrollment – and revenue – drops. That’s difficult for the center, because without that tuition its ability to pay staff suffers.
The Northwest Minnesota Foundation provided a $25,000 grant to the child care center this spring through the DEED Child Care Economic Development Grant to address the funding disparity that would occur this summer.
“The grant helps cover the summer wages and keep Kelliher Kids open for families that still needed child care during the summer months,” said Missy Okeson, Program Officer for NMF, “and also for those who need occasional care, such as a drop-in availabilities.”
While the grant helped ease the burden on the center this year, Missy noted that it is a one-time funding solution for a continual, growing problem.
“This is a concern throughout the entire state,” she said. “Tuition is the main source of income for child care programs. Stable income would help build a more consistent business, but it is difficult for parents to pay for child care when they are not using it. Yet, if they don’t pay consistently throughout the year, the child care program would likely fail.”