AFSME Local 602 - MSU Moorhead

Good for Parents

"The right kind of child care can prevent problems later in life," says St. Paul provider Robert Ellis Sr.

Parents who work, or go to school, need to know that their kids are safe, healthy and learning. That’s why child-care providers are vital. Without providers doing their jobs, many parents could not go to work.

Home-based providers care for about 129,000 children in Minnesota every day. They are parents’ most affordable, most flexible, and often most-reliable option. Home-based care can be half the cost of day-care centers, a fact that can save working parents thousands of dollars a year.

Most in-home providers work far more than an 8-hour day, and some go beyond that, to accommodate parents’ needs. Sharon O’Boyle, of St. Paul Park, says she’ll take kids on weekends or even overnight if necessary. “Low-income parents, they’re the ones working these odd hours, who need it most,” she says.

Providers say they often end up mentoring parents, too. As Brainerd provider Kathy Stevens puts it, “We give advice on everything that comes up.”

“We’re always helping them with personal issues,” says St. Paul provider Robert Ellis Sr. “They become like family to us.”

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