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A discussion point on the campaign trail: lack of childcare in Minnesota

As candidates burn through their campaign trails, they're bringing up big issues like making childcare more available across the state.

Posted: Oct. 16, 2018 10:21 PM
Updated: Oct. 17, 2018 6:38 AM

STEWARTVILLE, Minn. - US Sen. Tina Smith stopped by a new childcare facility in Stewartville on Tuesday to discuss how to make childcare more available for people in Minnesota.

It's called Sprouts Childcare, a fitting name for a growing community.

After being a home childcare provider herself, Krystal Campbell knows the lack of childcare is an issue.

"They're selling houses faster than they can build them," Campbell said. "The need is going to continue to grow, but hopefully the center will be able to help out with that deficit quite a bit."

According to a city-wide survey, that deficit is up to 110 kids.

Smith is hoping to lower the number through new legislation, the Child Care Supply Improvement Act. She said her bill would help fund local solutions.

"It is really important for families and family health," Smith said, "and it's really important for the great companies that are wanting to grow jobs here in this community, but can't find people to do the jobs because it's too hard for them to find a place for their kids to be during the day."

Campbell thinks the state can help with this problem by making more funding and resources available.

"It is a struggle as a new business owner that there isn't other avenues of financial help available because it is a great cost to get something like this up and running," Campbell said.

This election season, Smith is seeking a full term as senator. 

Her opponent, Republican Karin Housley is holding a press conference highlighting the need for childcare. It's set for Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at the Minnesota State Capitol.

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