A one-stop navigation network for starting and growing programs.

Our goal is to increase access to child care statewide. Our local navigators act as resource guides, and help people in their communities create, sustain, and expand home-based and center-based programs by offering encouragement and support through these processes, including referrals to resource partners. We accompany new programs through the licensing process, assess business and program needs, help family child care owners/operators and center directors bring together and put to use all the support they receive, as well as much more. Through these collaborative relationships, we help child care programs build strong relationships and thrive in their environments.

We serve 20 counties throughout Region 9 and Region 10. If you are interested in receiving guidance and support through our new Child Care Wayfinder program, listed are the contact details for each region:

Tori Breiter

Region 9

Serving the counties of: Brown, Watonwan, Martin, Faribault, Blue Earth, Nicollet, Sibley, Le Sueur

Gwen Lynch

Region 9 & 10

Serving the counties of: Rice, Steele, Goodhue, Dodge, Wabasha, Winona, Waseca

Jackie Prescher

Region 10

Serving the counties of: Olmsted, Houston, Fillmore, Mower, Freeborn

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 navigators here at Families First to further explore the childcare field. Whether you want to explore if a childcare business is right for you, if you want support going through the licensing process, if you are a current provider who has concerns and wants guidance on areas of your business, or you want to expand or grow your program. Reach out to your Startup and Retention navigator, by going to childcarewafinder.org. Navigators can explore with you on topics such as: business and record keeping, training requirements, grants and funding resources, help with policy and contract, emergency planning, health and safety, organizing your business. Navigators can share the many connections and agencies in the childcare field giving clarity also on the Food program, CCAP, Early Learning Scholarships and Parent Aware.

Families First Wayfinder Team