According to the Center for Rural and Policy Development, “The reality is that the (childcare) shortage prior to COVID was creating a ripple effect with a very real impact, not just on families, but on employers and entire communities…”  Now, as we are moving through COVID and the workforce is trying to open back up, we have simultaneously seen many family childcare programs and center based programming close their doors.  Many agencies, as well as the Department of Human Services (DHS) know the importance of rebuilding and growing the childcare industry, and we continue to focus our goals and mission on supporting those currently in as well as those looking to join the childcare field.

Families First continues to address how to best support those who want to learn more about the childcare industry.  Individuals located in Southeastern MN (Blue Earth, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, LeSueur, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Rice, Sibley, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona Counties) can reach out to our consultant here at Families First to further explore the childcare field.  Whether your program is in the process of becoming licensed, or newly licensed within the past six months, we are offering participants one-on-one program sessions to explore topics such as: business and record keeping, training requirements, grants and loan connections, resources to operate an effective program, and much more!  After completion of the consultation sessions and upon receiving their family childcare license, program participants will receive a resource bag of items to help further enhance their business.

Reach out to Gwen Lynch, our childcare consultant, with any questions or to enroll today!

Gwen Lynch:  507-316-8710 or

Pictured: Hailie L. from Dodge Center picks up her resource bag after completing the Family Startup One-on-One Consultation Program