Stauber, Lee introduce Small Business Child Care Investment Act

Currently, in the state of Minnesota, 26% of people live in a child care desert with a majority of those living in low-income households, as illustrated by this color-coded illustration of the state of Minnesota that pinpoints areas of low coverage for child care providers. Image courtesy of the office of Congressman Pete Stauber
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This week, Congressman Pete Stauber, R-Duluth, and Congresswoman Susie Lee, D- Nev., introduced the bipartisan Small Business Child Care Investment Act, which would grant nonprofit child care providers access to the same types of Small Business Administration loans available to for-profit businesses.

“With more and more parents choosing to dually work and raise a family, child care deserts are hurting families across the nation now more than ever. Those in rural America are particularly impacted by this problem, and we cannot continue to ignore those who choose to live in our rural communities,” Stauber stated in a news release. “The Small Business Child Care Investment Act will allow nonprofit child care providers to help our communities that are suffering by giving them access to SBA loans. These loans will go a long way in helping to open new child care centers and providing for families that want to participate in the workforce.”

A child care desert is any census tract with more than 50 children under age 5 that contains either no child care providers or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care slots.

  • 51% of Americans live in a child care desert.

  • The average annual cost of child care in Minnesota for an infant in a child care center is $16,120, which is 15.3% of the median income household.

  • Like many businesses, child care providers face significant start-up, operations, maintenance and capital projects costs. With limited access to SBA programs, these costs serve as barriers for providers looking to establish, expand or improve their operations.

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