Minnesota Newsletter   |   October 2013
News Corner
Child Care Unionization Vote Stalled by U.S. Supreme Court

Last week, the U.S. Supreme court agreed to hear the appeal of Harris v. Quinn, an Illinois lawsuit similar to Minnesota's Parrish v. Dayton. The two lawsuits deal with each state's right to unionize personal care attendants and family child care providers, respectfully. The Supreme Court's decision in Illinois' case could potentially have legal ramifications on Minnesota's family child care unionization efforts.  An injunction was filed on September 19 to delay the child care vote in Minnesota pending the high court's decision to take on Harris v. Quinn. However, it is still unknown whether that injunction will stay or be lifted now that the petition has been granted.      
David Koch Funds 
Child Care Center at MIT
Image by Jessica Rinaldi, Boston Globe
Billionaire philanthropist David Koch recently donated $20 million to build a child care center at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The new center will serve 126 children and nearly doubles the university's number of child care slots.

"We would miss out on some outstanding researchers if they didn't have proper facilities for their children," Koch told the Boston Globe.
Heidi Hagel Braid

Regional Director, 

Minnesota & the Dakotas


(612) 279-6504 direct



Jamie Swezey

Business Development Associate


(612) 279-6512 direct




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First Children's Finance
Building stronger child care businesses

On the Road to a Greater Minnesota


Thanks to everyone who helped us come up with the name for our new statewide initiative: The Rural Child Care Business Technical Assistance Center is now 
Greater Than Minnesota!

A partnership between First Children's Finance and the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations, >MN will work region by region to assess and address rural child care challenges in Greater Minnesota.
While each region's challenges are different, >MN's approach to creating community child care solutions is the same: identify its strengths, build on successes, and fill in the gaps.
>MN is kicking off in the  northwest region with a Child Care Town Hall in Fertile and will focus its efforts on Marshall, Norman, Pennington, and Polk Counties. Thanks to our partners at the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for being first out of the gate!
In addition to each region's Child Care Town Hall, >MN will have an interactive online platform through a partnership with Citizen's League, where updates on and input to each community's plan will be available to the public.

"At the heart of Greater Than Minnesota is the belief that our rural communities are greater than our challenges," said Heidi Hagel Braid, FCF's Minnesota Director. "Because nothing is greater than Minnesota's future."
Look out for the launch of >MN on CitiZing, and follow Follow us on Twitter>MN on Twitter for updates from Heidi and Jamie on the road to a Greater Minnesota!
Success in Southern Minnesota


FCF recently wrapped up the Quality Family Child Care Project. Six dedicated family child care owners worked with FCF to develop a Business Improvement Plan. While each of their goals looked a little bit different, all were centered around quality, including engagement in Parent Aware.


The providers presented their plans to our Southern MN Business Advisory Council for approval and funding. Watch what happens when we connect a cohort of dedicated child care professionals with business training, tools and mentorship.

Quality Family Child Care Program
Thanks to generous funding from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, all licensed family child care providers in Brown and Watonwan Counties have had access to free training, consulting, and mentoring through a partnership between First Children's Finance and the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association.  


"The Business Improvement Project we've partnered on with First Children's Finance has proven to be an extremely valuable resource to the region's child care providers," said Tim Penny, President of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. "We know their efforts will contribute to our goal of helping more children be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten."

New Advocacy Workshops in Greater Minnesota

Our friends over at Think Small are headed out to Greater Minnesota as well! They're hosting 3 free advocacy workshops (each workshop will cover the same content, so you only need to attend one).

October 16, 9:00-4:30

West Central Initiative Foundation

1000 Western Ave

Fergus Falls, MN 56538


October 22, 9:00-4:30

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

525 Florence Ave

Owatonna, MN 55060


November 2, 9:00-4:30

Grand Rapids, MN

Location: TBD


This day-long workshop is intended for early learning providers, professionals and supporters. We will explore ways to leverage public policy to improve the early learning system for children around Minnesota. Key takeaways from this workshop:

  • the basics of framing and messaging the issue of early care and education
  • the basics of the legislative process
  • tools and tactics for community organizing and bringing others to join in your mission
  • ideas and action plans for mobilizing your community

Workshops will be a mix of large-group discussions and small group activities. Space is limited to 20 participants per workshop.


For more information and to RSVP,  please call Kat Kempe at 651-233-2272 or email kkempe@thinksmall.org