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Child care

Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson recently placed a “clarification” in the Dispatch regarding the recommendations proposed to change Licensed Family Child Care Regulations. Although she stated they were not her recommendations, it is still perplexing why she would send the recommendations to the House and Human Services Legislative Committee with a cover letter suggesting they need to work together regarding changes before parents, businesses and providers even knew or had access to the report.

There are specific counties within the state that have the highest rates of infant mortalities; Crow Wing is not one of them. Crow Wing County is unique in the fact that our county licensor or representative visits our program at least each year with one visit unannounced, attends monthly child care association meetings, contributes to the monthly child care newsletter whereas many providers though out the state only see their licensor every two years at a pre-scheduled visit as a minimum requirement of statute.

There are vast differences in accepted trainings, interpretation of rules, statutes, and correction orders between counties.

My questions is, what role or responsibility does the Department of Human Services play in the mortality rates as a result of not maintaining a unified system though out the state?

The recommendations stress consequencing providers and mandating reminiscent of the, “No child left behind act;” all mandates, no resources or support which left many children left behind, placed unrealistic expectations on teachers and school districts.

Commissioner Jesson has called three stakeholder meetings; 7 p.m. in St. Cloud on Nov. 26, at the St. Cloud library; 9 a.m. at DHS in St. Paul on Nov 29; online and telephone conference; and at Rochester Tech on the Nov. 27.

The state needs to hear from parents and businesses regarding breaking recommendations.

Kathy Stevens


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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