Donations requested to increase amount available to help licensed family- and center-based providers
HUTCHINSON, Minn. – The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations, including Southwest Initiative Foundation, have created an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide immediate financial support to licensed child care providers in Greater Minnesota in response to the coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19. All six foundations have committed $50,000 – for a total of $300,000 dedicated for Greater Minnesota child care providers right away – and are working to secure additional resources from other partners.
Southwest Initiative Foundation will grant to licensed family- and center-based providers in southwest Minnesota. To be eligible, providers must be caring for the children (ages birth to 5 years) of parents or guardians who are working in government-identified critical sectors who are exempt during this time from the stay at home order.*
A guide to the regions served by each Minnesota Initiative Foundation can be found online at greaterminnesota.net.
Think Small is providing a similar grant opportunity to providers within the seven-county metropolitan area. Metro-area child care providers should contact Think Small or visit thinksmall.org for more information.
Southwest Initiative Foundation has also created the COVID-19 Child Care Response and Recovery Fund, which will help licensed child care providers with both immediate and long-term needs.
Gifts to support licensed child care providers in southwest Minnesota can be made by visiting swifoundation.org/donate. Southwest Initiative Foundation itself has committed $50,000 to the fund and is seeking donations to be able to reach more of the approximately 720 licensed child care businesses in its region with assistance.
“Child care providers, with their tremendous hearts and helping hands, are on the front lines providing the care that’s critical for emergency and essential workers who have kids age birth to five. They are filling the gap for families whose kids may not qualify for the school-care setting,” said Southwest Initiative Foundation President and CEO Diana Anderson. “We must make sure these small businesses stay afloat so our whole economy can rebound. We’re all in this together.”
The Minnesota Initiative Foundations were established in response to the economic crisis of the 1980s and have a long history of working together to help Greater Minnesota communities thrive. Together, they became leaders in promoting early childhood care and education and building coalitions and collaborative partnerships to support young children and their families. Most recently, they have been working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and dozens of local leaders, agencies, organizations and businesses to develop community solutions to address the child care shortage in Greater Minnesota.
For more information about the Minnesota Initiative Foundations or this grant program, visit greaterminnesota.net/childcare.
*Workers who work in critical sectors during this time are exempt from the stay at home order. These exemptions are based on federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota-specific additions. To learn more about who is considered a critical worker, please visit the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s website. If you have additional questions, please email CriticalSectors@state.mn.us.
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $82 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.
About the Minnesota Initiative Foundations
The Minnesota Initiative Foundations are six regional foundations working to strengthen the communities and economies of Greater Minnesota. Established by McKnight Foundation in 1986, each foundation is independent and serves its geographic region with grants, business loans, programs and priorities, and donor services, as well as collaborates on statewide initiatives. The Minnesota Initiative Foundations are nationally recognized as unique resources to the people, businesses and communities of rural Minnesota. Learn more at greaterminnesota.net.
For questions, contact:
Jodi Maertens, Youth and Family Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org | 320-583-4775
Liz Cheney, Vice President of Philanthropy, email@example.com | 320-484-9101
Karen Grasmon, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org | 320-583-5140