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Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

Child Care & Rural Economic Development

May 20, 2014

When we think about jobs and economic development, we don’t often think about child care. But that’s exactly what communities in Greater Minnesota have been thinking about when it comes to rural growth and revitalization.

Now, Greater Than Minnesota, a partnership between First Children’s Finance and the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations, is mobilizing non-metro Minnesota communities.

In partnership with the Initiative Foundation, Greater Than Minnesota is conducting a child care town hall meeting on Thursday, May 22, in Brainerd. Community members, local elected officials, family child care providers, child care centers, small business owners, large employers, economic development representatives – anyone who is interested in the local child care community is invited to participate. Based on the priorities established and ideas generated at the meeting, a Community Solution Action Plan will be drafted for Cass, Crow Wing and Wadena Counties.

The plan will identify local early care and education trends, challenges and solutions.

“Too often, decisions about early care and education are made in the Twin Cities metro area while communities in Greater Minnesota are left out of the conversation,” said Heidi Hagel Braid, Regional Director at First Children’s Finance. By holding a town hall meeting as its starting point in each region of the state, Greater Than Minnesota is determined to listen and learn, not lecture and diagnose.

The Child Care Town Hall meeting will take place at 6:15 pm at the Timbermist Convention Center in Brainerd. A complimentary dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.

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