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HF 3071

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/19/2020 12:59pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to early childhood; creating additional funding and opportunities for
children ages birth to three; governing certain programs and funding for home
visiting, early childhood education, and child care assistance; appropriating money;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 119B.13, subdivision 1; 124D.142;
124D.162; 124D.165, subdivisions 2, 4; Minnesota Statutes 2019 Supplement,
sections 124D.151, subdivision 6; 126C.05, subdivision 1; Laws 2019, First Special
Session chapter 11, article 8, section 13, subdivisions 3, 8, 9; proposing coding
for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 119B; 145.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

ARTICLE 1

HOME VISITING

Section 1.

new text begin [145.87] HOME VISITING FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND FAMILIES
WITH YOUNG CHILDREN.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) The terms defined in this subdivision apply to this section
and have the meanings given them.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Evidence-based home visiting program" means a program that:
new text end

new text begin (1) is based on a clear, consistent program or model that is research-based and grounded
in relevant, empirically based knowledge;
new text end

new text begin (2) is linked to program-determined outcomes and is associated with a national
organization, institution of higher education, or national or state public health institute;
new text end

new text begin (3) has comprehensive home visitation standards that ensure high-quality service delivery
and continuous quality improvement;
new text end

new text begin (4) has demonstrated significant, sustained positive outcomes; and
new text end

new text begin (5) either:
new text end

new text begin (i) has been evaluated using rigorous, randomized controlled research designs with the
evaluations published in a peer-reviewed journal; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) is based on quasi-experimental research using two or more separate, comparable
client samples.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Evidence-informed home visiting program" means a program that:
new text end

new text begin (1) has data or evidence demonstrating the program's effectiveness at achieving positive
outcomes for pregnant women and young children; and
new text end

new text begin (2) either has:
new text end

new text begin (i) an active evaluation of the program; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) a plan and timeline for an active evaluation of the program to be conducted.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Health equity" means every individual has a fair opportunity to attain the individual's
full health potential and no individual is prevented from achieving this potential.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Grants for home visiting programs. new text end

new text begin The commissioner shall award grants to
community health boards, nonprofit organizations, and tribal nations to start up or expand
voluntary home visiting programs serving pregnant women and families with young children.
Home visiting programs supported under this section shall provide voluntary home visits
by early childhood professionals or health professionals, including nurses, social workers,
early childhood educators, or trained paraprofessionals. Grant funds shall be used:
new text end

new text begin (1) to start up or expand evidence-based home visiting programs that address health
equity or evidence-informed home visiting programs that address health equity; and
new text end

new text begin (2) to serve families with young children or pregnant women who are high risk or have
high needs. For purposes of this clause, high risk includes but is not limited to a family with
low income or a parent or pregnant woman with mental illness or a substance use disorder
or experiencing domestic abuse.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Grant prioritization. new text end

new text begin (a) In awarding grants, the commissioner shall give
priority to community health boards, nonprofit organizations, and tribal nations seeking to
expand home visiting services with community or regional partnerships.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner shall allocate at least 75 percent of the grant funds awarded each
grant cycle to evidence-based home visiting programs that address health equity and up to
25 percent of the grant funds awarded each grant cycle to evidence-informed home visiting
programs that address health equity.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin No supplanting of existing funds. new text end

new text begin Funding awarded under this section shall
only be used to supplement, and not to replace, funds being used for evidence-based home
visiting programs or evidence-informed home visiting programs.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Administrative costs. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may use up to ten percent of the
annual appropriation under this section to provide training and technical assistance and to
administer and evaluate the program. The commissioner may contract for training,
capacity-building support for grantees or potential grantees, technical assistance, and
evaluation support.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginAPPROPRIATION; HOME VISITING GRANTS.
new text end

new text begin $30,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner
of health for grants for home visiting programs under Minnesota Statutes, section 145.87.
This appropriation is available until June 30, 2022. This is a onetime appropriation.
new text end

ARTICLE 2

EARLY LEARNING AND CARE

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.142, is amended to read:


124D.142 QUALITY RATING AND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin System established. new text end

deleted text begin(a)deleted text end There is established a quality rating and
improvement system (QRIS) deleted text beginframeworkdeleted text endnew text begin, known as Parent Aware,new text end to ensure that Minnesota's
children have access to high-quality early learning and care programs in a range of settings
so that they are fully ready for kindergarten deleted text beginby 2020. Creation of adeleted text endnew text begin.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin System components. new text end

new text beginThenew text end standards-based voluntary quality rating and
improvement system includes:

(1) quality opportunities in order to improve the educational outcomes of children so
that they are ready for schooldeleted text begin. Thedeleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (2) anew text end framework deleted text beginshall bedeleted text end based on the Minnesota quality rating system rating tool and
a common set of child outcome and program standards and informed by evaluation results;

deleted text begin (2)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end a tool to increase the number of publicly funded and regulated early learning and
care services in both public and private market programs that are high qualitydeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (4) voluntary participation so thatnew text end if a program or provider chooses to participate, the
program or provider will be rated and may receive public funding associated with the ratingdeleted text begin.
The state shall develop a plan to link future early learning and care state funding to the
framework in a manner that complies with federal requirements
deleted text end; and

deleted text begin (3)deleted text endnew text begin (5)new text end tracking progress toward statewide access to high-quality early learning and care
programs, progress toward the number of low-income children whose parents can access
quality programs, and progress toward increasing the number of children who are fully
prepared to enter kindergarten.

deleted text begin (b) In planning a statewide quality rating and improvement system framework in
paragraph (a), the state shall use evaluation results of the Minnesota quality rating system
rating tool in use in fiscal year 2008 to recommend:
deleted text end

deleted text begin (1) a framework of a common set of child outcome and program standards for a voluntary
statewide quality rating and improvement system;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2) a plan to link future funding to the framework described in paragraph (a), clause (2);
and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3) a plan for how the state will realign existing state and federal administrative resources
to implement the voluntary quality rating and improvement system framework. The state
shall provide the recommendation in this paragraph to the early childhood education finance
committees of the legislature by March 15, 2011.
deleted text end

deleted text begin (c) Prior to the creation of a statewide quality rating and improvement system in paragraph
(a), the state shall employ the Minnesota quality rating system rating tool in use in fiscal
year 2008 in the original Minnesota Early Learning Foundation pilot areas and additional
pilot areas supported by private or public funds with its modification as a result of the
evaluation results of the pilot project.
deleted text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin System revision and improvement. new text end

new text begin Following completion of the evaluation
under subdivision 4, the commissioner of human services must revise the quality rating and
improvement system if indicated by the evaluation. Any revision following an evaluation
must address the evaluation results.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Evaluation. new text end

new text begin (a) By February 1, 2021, the commissioner of human services
must arrange an independent evaluation of the quality rating and improvement system's
effectiveness and impact on:
new text end

new text begin (1) children's progress toward school readiness;
new text end

new text begin (2) quality of the early care and education system supply and workforce; and
new text end

new text begin (3) parents' ability to access and use meaningful information about early care and
education program quality.
new text end

new text begin (b) The evaluation must be performed by a consultant or staff member from another
agency. An evaluator must have experience in program evaluation and must not be regularly
involved in implementation of the quality rating and improvement system.
new text end

new text begin (c) The evaluation findings, along with the commissioner's recommendations for potential
future evaluations or plan for continuous improvement, must be reported to the chairs and
ranking members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over early learning and
child care.
new text end

new text begin (d) At a minimum, each evaluation must:
new text end

new text begin (1) analyze effectiveness of the quality rating and improvement system, including but
not limited to review of:
new text end

new text begin (i) whether quality indicators and measures used in the quality rating and improvement
system are consistent with evidence and research findings on early care and education
program quality; and
new text end

new text begin (ii) patterns or differences in observed quality of participating early care and education
programs in comparison to programs at other quality rating and improvement system star
rating levels and accounting for other factors;
new text end

new text begin (2) perform evidence-based assessment of children's developmental gains in ways that
are appropriate for children's linguistic and cultural backgrounds;
new text end

new text begin (3) analyze the extent to which differences in developmental gains among children
correspond to the star ratings of the early care and education programs, providing
disaggregated findings by:
new text end

new text begin (i) children's demographic factors, including geographic area, family income level, and
racial and ethnic groups;
new text end

new text begin (ii) type of provider, including family child care provider, child care center, Head Start,
and school-based early childhood provider; and
new text end

new text begin (iii) any other categories identified by the commissioner, in consultation with the
commissioners of health and education or entity performing the evaluation;
new text end

new text begin (4) analyze accessibility for providers to participate in the quality rating and improvement
system, including ease of application and supports for a provider to receive or improve a
rating, and provide disaggregated findings by geographic area and type of provider, including
family child care provider, child care center, Head Start, and school-based early childhood
provider; and
new text end

new text begin (5) analyze the availability of providers participating in the quality rating and
improvement system to families, and provide disaggregated findings by geographic area
and type of provider, including family child care provider, child care center, Head Start and
Early Head Start, and school-based early childhood provider.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2019 Supplement, section 124D.151, subdivision 6, is amended
to read:


Subd. 6.

Participation limits.

(a) Notwithstanding section 126C.05, subdivision 1,
paragraph (d), the pupil units for a voluntary prekindergarten program for an eligible school
district or charter school must not exceed 60 percent of the kindergarten pupil units for that
school district or charter school under section 126C.05, subdivision 1, paragraph (e).

(b) In reviewing applications under subdivision 5, the commissioner must limit the total
number of participants in the voluntary prekindergarten and school readiness plus programs
under Laws 2017, First Special Session chapter 5, article 8, section 9, to not more than 7,160
participants deleted text beginfordeleted text endnew text begin pernew text end fiscal deleted text beginyears 2019, 2020, and 2021, and 3,160 participants for fiscal years
2022 and later
deleted text endnew text begin yearnew text end.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.162, is amended to read:


124D.162 KINDERGARTEN READINESS ASSESSMENT.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Implementation. new text end

new text begin(a) new text endThe commissioner of education deleted text beginmaydeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end implement
a kindergarten readiness assessment representative of incoming kindergartnersdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin to:
new text end

new text begin (1) identify preparedness of a child for success in school;
new text end

new text begin (2) inform instructional decision-making;
new text end

new text begin (3) improve understanding of connections between kindergarten readiness and later
academic achievement; and
new text end

new text begin (4) produce data that can assist in evaluation of the effectiveness of early childhood
programs.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must provide districts with a process for measuring the kindergarten
readiness of incoming kindergartners on a comparable basis. The commissioner must approve
one or more measurement tools for district use that must be research based, developmentally
appropriate, valid and reliable, and aligned to the state early childhood indicators of progress
and kindergarten academic standards.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Assessment development. new text end

Thenew text begin measurement tools used fornew text end assessment must
benew text begin research based, developmentally appropriate, valid and reliable, aligned to the state early
childhood indicators of progress and kindergarten academic standards, and
new text end based on the
Department of Education Kindergarten Readiness Assessment at kindergarten entrance
study.

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Reporting. new text end

new text begin Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, a district that uses the
commissioner-provided process must annually report kindergarten readiness results under
this section to the department in the form and manner determined by the commissioner
concurrent with the district's world's best workforce report under section 120B.11. The
commissioner must publicly report kindergarten readiness results as part of the performance
reports required under section 120B.36 and consistent with section 120B.35, subdivision
3, paragraph (a), clause (2).
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Longitudinal data system. new text end

new text begin Beginning for data reported on incoming
kindergartners in the 2020-2021 school year, the commissioner must integrate kindergarten
readiness data under this section into statewide longitudinal educational data systems.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.165, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Family eligibility.

(a) For a family to receive an early learning scholarship,
parents or guardians must meet the following eligibility requirements:

(1) have an eligible child; and

(2) have income equal to or less than 185 percent of federal poverty level income in the
current calendar year, or be able to document their child's current participation in the free
and reduced-price lunch program or Child and Adult Care Food Program, National School
Lunch Act, United States Code, title 42, sections 1751 and 1766; the Food Distribution
Program on Indian Reservations, Food and Nutrition Act, United States Code, title 7, sections
2011-2036; Head Start under the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act
of 2007; Minnesota family investment program under chapter 256J; child care assistance
programs under chapter 119B; the supplemental nutrition assistance program; or placement
in foster care under section 260C.212.

(b) An "eligible child" means a child who has not yet enrolled in kindergarten and is:

(1) deleted text beginat leastdeleted text endnew text begin from birth tonew text end three deleted text beginbut not yet fivedeleted text end years of age on September 1 of the current
school year;

(2) a sibling from birth to age deleted text beginfivedeleted text endnew text begin fournew text end of a child who has been awarded a scholarship
under this section provided the sibling attends the same program as long as funds are
available;

(3) the child of a parent under age 21 who is pursuing a high school degree or a course
of study for a high school equivalency test; or

(4) homeless, in foster care, or in need of child protective services.

(c) new text beginNotwithstanding the age requirements under paragraph (b), new text enda child who has received
a scholarship under this section must continue to receive a scholarship each year until that
child is eligible for kindergarten under section 120A.20 and as long as funds are available.

(d) Early learning scholarships may not be counted as earned income for the purposes
of medical assistance under chapter 256B, MinnesotaCare under chapter 256L, Minnesota
family investment program under chapter 256J, child care assistance programs under chapter
119B, or Head Start under the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of
2007.

(e) A child from an adjoining state whose family resides at a Minnesota address as
assigned by the United States Postal Service, who has received developmental screening
under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19, who intends to enroll in a Minnesota school district,
and whose family meets the criteria of paragraph (a) is eligible for an early learning
scholarship under this section.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.165, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Early childhood program eligibility.

(a) In order to be eligible to accept an
early learning scholarship, a program must:

(1) participate in the quality rating and improvement system under section 124D.142;
and

(2) beginning July 1, deleted text begin2020deleted text endnew text begin 2022new text end, have a three- or four-star rating in the quality rating
and improvement system.

(b) Any program accepting scholarships must use the revenue to supplement and not
supplant federal funding.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), all Minnesota early learning foundation scholarship
program pilot sites are eligible to accept an early learning scholarship under this section.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2019 Supplement, section 126C.05, subdivision 1, is amended
to read:


Subdivision 1.

Pupil unit.

Pupil units for each Minnesota resident pupil under the age
of 21 or who meets the requirements of section 120A.20, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), in
average daily membership enrolled in the district of residence, in another district under
sections 123A.05 to 123A.08, 124D.03, 124D.08, or 124D.68; in a charter school under
chapter 124E; or for whom the resident district pays tuition under section 123A.18, 123A.22,
123A.30, 123A.32, 123A.44, 123A.488, 123B.88, subdivision 4, 124D.04, 124D.05, 125A.03
to 125A.24, 125A.51, or 125A.65, shall be counted according to this subdivision.

(a) A prekindergarten pupil with a disability who is enrolled in a program approved by
the commissioner and has an individualized education program is counted as the ratio of
the number of hours of assessment and education service to 825 times 1.0 with a minimum
average daily membership of 0.28, but not more than 1.0 pupil unit.

(b) A prekindergarten pupil who is assessed but determined not to be disabled is counted
as the ratio of the number of hours of assessment service to 825 times 1.0.

(c) A kindergarten pupil with a disability who is enrolled in a program approved by the
commissioner is counted as the ratio of the number of hours of assessment and education
services required in the fiscal year by the pupil's individualized education program to 875,
but not more than one.

(d) A prekindergarten pupil who is not included in paragraph (a) or (b) and is enrolled
in an approved voluntary prekindergarten program under section 124D.151 is counted as
the ratio of the number of hours of instruction to 850 times 1.0, but not more than 0.6 pupil
units.

(e) A kindergarten pupil who is not included in paragraph (c) is counted as 1.0 pupil
unit if the pupil is enrolled in a free all-day, every day kindergarten program available to
all kindergarten pupils at the pupil's school that meets the minimum hours requirement in
section 120A.41, or is counted as .55 pupil unit, if the pupil is not enrolled in a free all-day,
every day kindergarten program available to all kindergarten pupils at the pupil's school.

(f) A pupil who is in any of grades 1 to 6 is counted as 1.0 pupil unit.

(g) A pupil who is in any of grades 7 to 12 is counted as 1.2 pupil units.

(h) A pupil who is in the postsecondary enrollment options program is counted as 1.2
pupil units.

(i) deleted text beginFordeleted text endnew text begin Beginning innew text end fiscal deleted text beginyears 2018 through 2021deleted text endnew text begin year 2018new text end, a prekindergarten pupil
who:

(1) is not included in paragraph (a), (b), or (d);

(2) is enrolled in a school readiness plus program under Laws 2017, First Special Session
chapter 5, article 8, section 9; and

(3) has one or more of the risk factors specified by the eligibility requirements for a
school readiness plus program,

is counted as the ratio of the number of hours of instruction to 850 times 1.0, but not more
than 0.6 pupil units. A pupil qualifying under this paragraph must be counted in the same
manner as a voluntary prekindergarten student for all general education and other school
funding formulas.

Sec. 7.

Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter 11, article 8, section 13, subdivision 3,
is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Early learning scholarships.

(a) For the early learning scholarship program
under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.165:

$
75,209,000
.....
2020
$
deleted text begin 70,709,000 deleted text end new text begin
260,709,000
new text end
.....
2021

(b) This appropriation is subject to the requirements under Minnesota Statutes, section
124D.165, subdivision 6.

new text begin (c) The base appropriation is $70,709,000 for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
new text end

Sec. 8.

Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter 11, article 8, section 13, subdivision 8,
is amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Kindergarten entrance assessment initiative and intervention program.

For
the kindergarten entrance assessment initiative and intervention program under Minnesota
Statutes, section 124D.162:

$
281,000
.....
2020
$
deleted text begin 281,000 deleted text end new text begin
2,693,000
new text end
.....
2021

new text begin The base appropriation is $2,000,000 for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter 11, article 8, section 13, subdivision 9,
is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

Quality rating and improvement system.

(a) For transfer to the commissioner
of human services for the purposes of expanding the quality rating and improvement system
under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.142, in greater Minnesota and increasing supports
for providers participating in the quality rating and improvement system:

$
1,750,000
.....
2020
$
deleted text begin 1,750,000 deleted text end new text begin
3,400,000
new text end
.....
2021

(b) The amounts in paragraph (a) must be in addition to any federal funding under the
child care and development block grant authorized under Public Law 101-508 in that year
for the system under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.142.

(c) Any balance in the first year does not cancel but is available in the second year.

new text begin (d) The base appropriation is $1,750,000 for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
new text end

ARTICLE 3

CHILD CARE AVAILABILITY

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 119B.13, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Subsidy restrictions.

(a) deleted text beginBeginning February 3, 2014,deleted text end The maximum
rate paid for child care assistance deleted text beginin any county or county price clusterdeleted text end under the child care
fund shall be the deleted text begingreater of thedeleted text end 25th percentile of the deleted text begin2011deleted text endnew text begin market rate in the county or
county price cluster with the highest cost 25th percentile in the most recent
new text end child care
provider rate survey deleted text beginor the maximum rate effective November 28, 2011. For a child care
provider located within the boundaries of a city located in two or more of the counties of
Benton, Sherburne, and Stearns, the maximum rate paid for child care assistance shall be
equal to the maximum rate paid in the county with the highest maximum reimbursement
rates or the provider's charge, whichever is less. The commissioner may: (1) assign a county
with no reported provider prices to a similar price cluster; and (2) consider county level
access when determining final price clusters
deleted text endnew text begin under section 119B.02, subdivision 7new text end.

(b) A rate which includes a special needs rate paid under subdivision 3 may be in excess
of the maximum rate allowed under this subdivision.

(c) The department shall monitor the effect of this paragraph on provider rates. The
county shall pay the provider's full charges for every child in care up to the maximum
established. The commissioner shall determine the maximum rate for each type of care on
an hourly, full-day, and weekly basis, including special needs and disability care.

(d) If a child uses one provider, the maximum payment for one day of care must not
exceed the daily rate. The maximum payment for one week of care must not exceed the
weekly rate.

(e) If a child uses two providers under section 119B.097, the maximum payment must
not exceed:

(1) the daily rate for one day of care;

(2) the weekly rate for one week of care by the child's primary provider; and

(3) two daily rates during two weeks of care by a child's secondary provider.

(f) Child care providers receiving reimbursement under this chapter must not be paid
activity fees or an additional amount above the maximum rates for care provided during
nonstandard hours for families receiving assistance.

(g) If the provider charge is greater than the maximum provider rate allowed, the parent
is responsible for payment of the difference in the rates in addition to any family co-payment
fee.

(h) All maximum provider rates changes shall be implemented on the Monday following
the effective date of the maximum provider rate.

(i) deleted text beginNotwithstanding Minnesota Rules, part 3400.0130, subpart 7, maximum registration
fees in effect on January 1, 2013, shall remain in effect.
deleted text endnew text begin The maximum registration fee paid
for child care assistance in any county or county price cluster under the child care fund must
be the greater of (1) the 25th percentile of the market rate in the county or county price
cluster with the highest cost 25th percentile in the most recent child care provider rate survey
under section 119B.02, subdivision 7, or (2) the registration fee in effect at the time of the
update. Maximum registration fees must be set for licensed family child care and for child
care centers.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2021.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [119B.195] RETAINING EARLY EDUCATORS THROUGH ATTAINING
INCENTIVES NOW (REETAIN) GRANT PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Establishment; purpose. new text end

new text begin The retaining early educators through attaining
incentives now (REETAIN) grant program is established to provide competitive grants to
incentivize well-trained child care professionals to stay in the workforce to create more
consistent care for children over time.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Administration. new text end

new text begin The commissioner shall allocate grant funds to child care
resource and referral agencies to administer the REETAIN grant program. Up to ten percent
of grant funds may be used for administration of the grant program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Application. new text end

new text begin An applicant must apply for the grant program using the forms
and according to the timelines established by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Eligibility. new text end

new text begin (a) To be eligible for a grant, an applicant must:
new text end

new text begin (1) be licensed to provide child care or work for a licensed child care program;
new text end

new text begin (2) work directly with children at least 30 hours per week;
new text end

new text begin (3) work in their current position for at least 12 months;
new text end

new text begin (4) agree to stay in their current position for at least 12 months upon receiving a grant
under this section;
new text end

new text begin (5) have a career lattice step of five or higher;
new text end

new text begin (6) have a current membership with the Minnesota quality improvement and registry
tool; and
new text end

new text begin (7) not be a current recipient of a teacher education and compensation helps scholarship.
new text end

new text begin (b) Grant recipients must sign a contract agreeing to remain in their current position for
at least 12 months.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Grant awards. new text end

new text begin Grant awards must be made annually and each recipient may
be awarded up to $3,500. Grant funds may be used for program supplies, training, or personal
expenses.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Report. new text end

new text begin Beginning January 1, 2022, and each year thereafter, the commissioner
must report annually to the legislative committees with jurisdiction over child care on the
number of grants awarded and outcomes of the grant program.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginFIRST CHILDREN'S FINANCE CHILD CARE SITE ASSISTANCE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Purpose. new text end

new text begin (a) $5,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the
general fund to the commissioner of human services for a grant to First Children's Finance.
This is a onetime appropriation.
new text end

new text begin (b) Grant funds to First Children's Finance are for loans to improve child care or early
childhood education sites or loans to plan, design, and construct or expand licensed and
legal nonlicensed sites to increase the availability of child care or early childhood education.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Financing program. new text end

new text begin (a) First Children's Finance must use grant funds to:
new text end

new text begin (1) establish a revolving loan fund to make loans to existing, expanding, and newly
licensed and legally unlicensed child care and early childhood education sites;
new text end

new text begin (2) establish a fund to guarantee private loans to improve or construct a child care or
early childhood education site;
new text end

new text begin (3) establish a fund to provide forgivable loans or grants to match all or part of a loan
made under this section;
new text end

new text begin (4) establish a fund as a reserve against bad debt; and
new text end

new text begin (5) establish a fund to provide business planning assistance for child care providers.
new text end

new text begin (b) First Children's Finance must establish the terms and conditions for loans and loan
guarantees including interest rates, repayment agreements, private match requirements, and
conditions for loan forgiveness. A minimum interest rate for loans must be established to
ensure that necessary loan administration costs are covered. Interest earnings may be used
for administrative expenses.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Reports. new text end

new text begin First Children's Finance must:
new text end

new text begin (1) by September 30, 2021, and by September 30, 2022, report to the commissioner of
human services the purposes for which the money was used during the past fiscal year,
including a description of projects supported by the financing, an account of loans made
during the calendar year, the financing program's assets and liabilities, and an explanation
of administrative expenses; and
new text end

new text begin (2) for each fiscal year in which grants are received, submit to the commissioner of
human services a copy of the report of an independent audit performed in accordance with
generally accepted accounting practices and auditing standards.
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginAPPROPRIATION; CHILD CARE PROGRAMS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Basic sliding fee waiting list allocation. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota
Statutes, section 119B.03, $95,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the general
fund to the commissioner of human services to reduce the basic sliding fee program waiting
list as follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) the calendar year 2020 allocation must be increased to serve families on the waiting
list. To receive funds appropriated for this purpose, a county must have a waiting list in the
most recent published waiting list month;
new text end

new text begin (2) funds must be distributed proportionately based on the average of the most recent
six months of published waiting lists to counties that meet the criteria in clause (1);
new text end

new text begin (3) allocations in calendar years 2021 and beyond must be calculated using the allocation
formula in Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.03; and
new text end

new text begin (4) the guaranteed floor for calendar year 2021 must be based on the revised calendar
year 2020 allocation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Child care rates. new text end

new text begin $95,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the
general fund to the commissioner of human services to increase child care rates under
Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.13. The commissioner may not increase the rate differential
under Minnesota Statutes, section 119B.13, subdivision 3a or 3b. To determine the increased
rates, the commissioner of human services must:
new text end

new text begin (1) utilize the most recent child care market rate survey under Minnesota Statutes, section
119B.02, subdivision 7; and
new text end

new text begin (2) set the percentile such that the additional expenditure equals the amount appropriated.
new text end

Sec. 5. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS; DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Grants for child care. new text end

new text begin $10,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated
from the general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic development for
grants to local communities to increase the supply of quality child care providers to support
economic development. Fifty percent of grant funds must go to communities located outside
of the seven-county metropolitan area as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121,
subdivision 2. Grant recipients must obtain a 50 percent nonstate match to grant funds in
either cash or in-kind contribution. Grant funds available under this section must be used
to implement projects to reduce the child care shortage in the state, including but not limited
to funding for child care business start-ups or expansion, training, facility modifications or
improvements required for licensing, and assistance with licensing and other regulatory
requirements. In awarding grants, the commissioner must give priority to communities that
have demonstrated a shortage of child care providers in the area. This is a onetime
appropriation. Within one year of receiving grant funds, grant recipients must report to the
commissioner on the outcomes of the grant program, including but not limited to the number
of new providers, the number of additional child care provider jobs created, the number of
additional child care slots, and the amount of cash and in-kind local funds invested.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Minnesota Initiatives Foundations. new text end

new text begin (a) $5,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is
appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic
development for a grant to the Minnesota Initiative Foundations. This is a onetime
appropriation and available until expended.
new text end

new text begin (b) The Minnesota Initiative Foundations must use grant funds under this section to:
new text end

new text begin (1) facilitate planning processes for rural communities resulting in a community solution
action plan that guides decision making to sustain and increase the supply of quality child
care in the region to support economic development;
new text end

new text begin (2) engage the private sector to invest local resources to support the community solution
action plan and ensure child care is a vital component of additional regional economic
development planning processes;
new text end

new text begin (3) provide high quality locally based training and technical assistance to rural child
care business owners through a learning cohort. Access to financial and business development
assistance must endeavor to prepare child care businesses for quality engagement and
improvement by stabilizing operations, leveraging funding from other sources, and fostering
business acumen; and
new text end

new text begin (4) recruit child care programs to participate in Parent Aware under Minnesota Statutes,
section 124D.142, by providing targeted resources designed to encourage high levels of
participation. The Minnesota Initiative Foundations must work with local partners to provide
low-cost training, professional development opportunities, and curriculum. The Minnesota
Initiative Foundations must fund, through local partners, an enhanced level of coaching to
rural child care providers to obtain a quality rating through Parent Aware.
new text end

Sec. 6. new text beginAPPROPRIATION; RETAINING EARLY EDUCATORS THROUGH
ATTAINING INCENTIVES NOW (REETAIN) GRANT PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin $2,500,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner
of human services for purposes of REETAIN grants under Minnesota Statutes, section
119B.195. This is a onetime appropriation.
new text end