Upcoming listening sessions on child care licensing standards hosted by Southwest Initiative Foundation

HUTCHINSON, Minn. – The Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is inviting child care providers, economic development professionals, community leaders and champions of child care in southwest Minnesota to attend listening sessions to provide feedback on the draft licensing standards for family child care and child care centers published by the Department of Human Services (DHS) as part of the Child Care Regulation Modernization Projects.

“One of the foundation’s priorities is supporting the growth and retention of child care programs in the region because we know access to quality child care is critical to community vitality and economic mobility,” said Briana Mumme, SWIF Economic Development Manager. “We are seeking the engagement and participation of child care providers and child care champions across the region to ensure the perspectives of southwest Minnesota are represented.”

The listening sessions are free to attend, but registration is required by July 3. Sessions will be offered virtually and in-person at various locations across southwest Minnesota.

  • Child Care Centers: July 8, noon to 2 p.m. online
  • Family Child Care: July 8, 6 to 8 p.m. online
  • Child Care Centers: July 9, 6 to 8 p.m. at Prairie’s Edge Casino & Resort, Granite Falls
  • Family Child Care: July 10, 6 to 8 p.m. at Minnesota West Community & Technical College, Worthington
  • Family Child Care: July 11, 6 to 8 p.m. at MinnWest Technology Campus, Wilmar

More details and registration links can be found on the SWIF website at swifoundation.org.

All listening sessions will include a short presentation of the draft licensing standards. Most of the time will be allocated to facilitated conversation and the opportunity for attendees to provide feedback on the draft licensing standards. The feedback gathered during the SWIF listening sessions will be compiled into an executive summary and shared with DHS and southwest Minnesota legislators as part of the overall public comments on the draft licensing standards.

“We encourage all those who care about child care in southwest Minnesota to attend a listening session and share their feedback,” Mumme said. “Your input is important in helping to shape the future of child care licensing in our state.”