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Shutdown Impacts MN Day Cares

July 7, 2011, 9:55 PM by Perry Groten

Shutdown Impacts MN Day Cares
LUVERNE, MN - A government shutdown is impacting even the youngest of Minnesotans.

The shutdown means day cares across the state cannot be inspected, re-licensed or receive their monthly food allowance from the state. The shutdown puts both providers and parents in a tough financial spot.

Jill Arp has run a day care from her Luverne, Minnesota home for the past six years. Her two-year renewal came up in May, just in time to avoid a relicensing freeze caused by the shutdown.

"I'm glad I got mine renewed before the shutdown, because my understanding is they won't be able to get renewed until the state is back at it," Arp said.

But Arp is affected in other ways by the shutdown. She'll have to pay more out of pocket for daily meals for the kids under her care because the state can no longer contribute that money.

"It's a little over a dollar per lunch, it's probably 40-cents per snack and breakfast is a dollar, so per kid, per mealtime, so yeah, it will have an impact," Arp said.

Low-income parents with kids in day care won't be getting any financial help from the state during the course of the shutdown.

"That will definitely affect them because they'll have to pay with the full amount, they will no longer get the income-assistance and I'm sure providers will have trouble even maybe getting paid by families that can't afford it, so yeah, it will affect everybody," Arp said.

Young parents make up a fast-growing segment of Luverne's population. So a shutdown comes at a bad time in helping them find affordable day care in the community.

"I know there's a lot of new moms to-be looking for day care, so there's a shortage, I believe so it will affect them as well," Arp said.

Rock County has nearly 50 in-home day cares that are regulated by the state.

A former Minnesota state supreme court justice is deciding whether the state should resume providing child care subsidies to qualifying families during the shutdown. More than 26,000 families statewide receive those child care payments.

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