Cook County EDA will receive $180,000 grant from state for child care initiatives
Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash

Cook County EDA will receive $180,000 grant from state for child care initiatives

State officials are helping a critical need in Cook County by providing funding for child care services.

Governor Tim Walz announced in a press release on Dec. 1 that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is awarding nearly $2.5 million to 17 child care organizations representing communities throughout Minnesota. This latest round of grant funding will help increase the supply of quality child care providers to support regional economic development.

The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority will receive $180,000 from the state grant.

“In every community across the state, we hear from families and small businesses that increasing access to affordable child care is the best way to support our work force, grow our economy, and foster economic prosperity,” said Governor Walz. “These grants reach communities across our state to help increase child care access and ensure families and our youngest Minnesotans receive the care and early education they deserve.”

Since 2017, DEED has awarded more than $4 million to Minnesota organizations focused on increasing access to affordable, quality child care across Minnesota. In total, the funding is expected to create 9431 new child care slots across the state. 

“We continue to hear that a lack of quality child care is one of the major hurdles preventing the growth of our workforce,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “This grant program has a direct effect on creating more child care slots for parents across Minnesota. That’s why the Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion recommended increasing this funding as a key strategy in growing our state’s economy and workforce.”

The community organizations receiving the grants will use a variety of approaches ranging from partnering with local employers to build new child care facilities, to training and assistance with licensing. These projects will help grow the supply of affordable, quality childcare in Minnesota.

Program funds will be used for child care business startups or expansions, training, facility modifications, direct subsidies or incentives to retain employees, or improvements required for licensing, and assistance with licensing and other regulatory requirements. 

Priority was given to communities with a documented shortage of child care providers in their proposed project area. Documented shortages may include disparities in access to affordable, quality child care among targeted groups including but not limited to rural communities, low-income communities, Black, Indigenous and people of color individuals, persons with disabilities, veterans, and women. 

The following organizations received Child Care Economic Development Grants during this latest round of funding:

  • Aitkin County, Aitkin, $100,000 
  • Chinese American Chamber of Commerce, Bloomington, $200,000 
  • City of Hills, Hills, $120,000 
  • Cook County and Grand Marais EDA, Grand Marais, $180,000 
  • Duluth Area Family YMCA, Duluth, $150,000 
  • Faith Community Development Initiative Inc, Brooklyn Park, $75,000 
  • Greater Bemidji, Inc, Bemidji, $200,000 
  • Jasmin Child Care and Preschool, Moorhead, $120,000 
  • Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar, Willmar, $200,000 
  • Morning Glory Montessori, Minneapolis, $120,000 
  • Nobles County Community Service Agency, Worthington, $150,000 
  • Northland Foundation, Duluth, $250,000 
  • Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Bemidji, $50,000 
  • Otter Tail County, Fergus Falls, $160,000 
  • Somali Community Resettlement Services, Minneapolis, $50,000 
  • Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Owatonna, $200,000 
  • WildFlower Foundation, Minneapolis, $100,000


WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins will be speaking with DEED officials and Beth Drost, Executive Director of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) next week to learn more about the grant funding.