UNDATED (WJON News) - A GenForward study found that 90% of Millenials say the cost of child care is a primary factor when deciding to have children.

Meanwhile, a lack of affordable childcare continues to be a serious issue across Minnesota.

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To help bridge the gap, the Center for Rural Policy and Development held a listening session to discuss the challenges and what can be done.

Interconnected – An Update on Minnesota’s Child Care Challenges brought together state officials and both family-based and center daycare providers to talk about their business and the challenges in meeting the need for affordable daycare.

Jessica Beyer is the Minnesota Associate Director of First Children’s Finance. She says that even with what some families see as excessive costs, most daycare centers lose money in some areas.

It is a very high operational, expensive business to run and it's very unique and very challenging on the business side to maintain that profitability. For childcare centers, infants lose money. I have not done a financial analysis yet where an infant room is even close to breaking even. I see them $15,000 in the hole, $20,000 In the hole on a regular basis, regardless of where that childcare program is located. Where childcare programs usually earn a profit, for both families and also centers, is that preschool age bracket. That preschool program is what's going to float the entire program.

Graph: Minnesota Department of Human Services
Graph: Minnesota Department of Human Services
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Tikki Brown is the Assistant Commissioner for Children and Family Services at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. She says the cost of daycare is prohibitive for many families.

Minnesota families are paying about $17,000 for center-based care and about $12,500 for family childcare. A Minnesota family with one infant spends about 21% of their household income on childcare, we rank as fourth most expensive in terms of our childcare costs. The 2023 Minnesota Legislature invested more than $300 million into childcare programs. The listening sessions were held to discover the most effective ways to use those resources.

Childcare providers were on hand to discuss their individual challenges to growth and providing services in rural Minnesota.

The 2023 Minnesota Legislature invested more than $300 million into childcare programs. The listening sessions were held to discover the most effective ways to use those resources.

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