The purpose of this section is to enhance and expand child care sites, to encourage private investment in child care and early childhood education sites, to promote availability of quality, affordable child care throughout Minnesota, and to provide for cooperation between private nonprofit child care organizations, family child care and center providers and the department.
The commissioner shall distribute money provided by this section through a grant to a nonprofit corporation organized to plan, develop, and finance early childhood education and child care sites. The nonprofit corporation must have demonstrated the ability to analyze financing projects, have knowledge of other sources of public and private financing for child care and early childhood education sites, and have a relationship with regional resource and referral programs. The board of directors of the nonprofit corporation must include members who are knowledgeable about early childhood education, child care, development and improvement, and financing. The commissioners of the Departments of Human Services and Employment and Economic Development, and the commissioner of the Housing Finance Agency shall advise the board on the loan program. The grant must be used to make loans to improve child care or early childhood education sites, or loans to plan, design, and construct or expand licensed and legal unlicensed sites to increase the availability of child care or early childhood education. All loans made by the nonprofit corporation must comply with section 363A.16.
A nonprofit corporation that receives a grant under this section shall use the money to:
(1) establish a revolving loan fund to make loans to existing, expanding, and new licensed and legal unlicensed child care and early childhood education sites;
(2) establish a fund to guarantee private loans to improve or construct a child care or early childhood education site;
(3) establish a fund to provide forgivable loans or grants to match all or part of a loan made under this section;
(4) establish a fund as a reserve against bad debt; and
(5) establish a fund to provide business planning assistance for child care providers.
The nonprofit corporation shall establish the terms and conditions for loans and loan guarantees including, but not limited to, interest rates, repayment agreements, private match requirements, and conditions for loan forgiveness. The nonprofit corporation shall establish a minimum interest rate for loans to ensure that necessary loan administration costs are covered. The nonprofit corporation may use interest earnings for administrative expenses.
A nonprofit corporation that receives a grant under this section shall:
(1) annually report by September 30 to the commissioner the purposes for which the money was used in 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
(2) annually submit to the commissioner a copy of the report of an independent audit performed in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices and auditing standards.