What's New at Families First?  

Crisis Nursery Donations

Our Crisis Nursery program appreciates donations of diapers, formula, and cash to help families in need during the holidays. For more information, contact Allison at 507-287-2020 ext. 1576.

Work at Families First of Minnesota

Families First of Minnesota is a great place to work! For information on current job openings, click here.

Parent Aware Cohort

Don't be a turkey! The deadline to enroll in the upcoming Parent Aware Cohort is December 15th, 2016. Contact Amber English today at (507) 287-2020 ext. 1404 or at ambere@familiesfirstmn.org for more information and an application. 

Task Force Reviewing Child Care Issues

A legislative task force is holding meetings to review the loss of child care providers in the state, assess affordability issues for providers and parents, and identify areas that need to be addressed by the legislature.

The task force, in cooperation with the commission of human services, is charged with delivering a report to the legislative committees with jurisdiction over child care issue and the governor by Jan. 15, 2017.

Members of the task force include Sens. Carla Nelson and David Senjem of Rochester.

6 Things to Know About Child Care in Southeastern Minnesota

  • The number of licensed family child care providers in Olmsted County has fallen from 488 in 2007 to 382 recently.
  • Child care rates are rising in centers and family homes:

o   Weekly infant rates in a center - $297

o   Weekly infant rates in a home - $162

o   Weekly toddler rates in a center - $260

o   Weekly toddler rates in a home - $155

  • In Olmsted County, there are more than 500 families receiving child care assistance and more than 200 families on the waiting list.
  • Infant child care is difficult to find. Some families get on child care center and family child care waiting lists as soon as they learn they’re pregnant.
  • The state has a relatively new rating system called Parent Aware, which provides “tools and information to find the best quality child care and early education for your child.” About 20 percent of providers participate. For more on Parent Aware of Minnesota, go to www.parentaware.org.
  • Are you looking for childcare? Call 888-291-9811 and a coach will help you find quality care to meet your needs. 

Grants Awarded to 98 Child Care Providers

Through our recent grant application process, more than 98 child care providers and centers were awarded dollars to improve their business. Requests were made to support the cost of curriculum, training, health and saftey items, and educational toys for providers to improve their quality or to meet the requirements to start a child care business. 

Most Consumers are Happy with Child Care

A new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that the overwhelming majority of parents who use child care are happy with it. The poll shows 88 percent of parents say their child care is very good or excellent. 

Early Learning Scholarships- Northern Minnesota

Families First of Minnesota has now taken on the administration of Early Learning Scholarships for Region 3 in Northern Minnesota.  The counties that we now serve are Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and Saint Louis.  Please call or email Sara at sarast@familiesfirstmn.org for details.                        

Early Head Start Partnerships

Families First recently received a grant from the federal government extending our Early Head Start Child Care Partnership funding through June 30, 2017. The award allows us to serve 76 infants and toddlers in Freeborn, Olmsted, Rice and Winona counties. 

Become a tutor at Families First - Head Start

Minnesota Reading Corps is seeking literacy tutors for the 2016-17 school year.  More information can be found HERE.