Last week an editorial titled “GOP thwarted DFL attempts to fix day care” was published. Rep. Jack Considine, DFL-Mankato, is correct, child care is a “very, very serious crisis.”
The numbers don’t lie. According to a 2017 update by the same organization he referenced, the Center for Rural Policy and Development, Southern Minnesota is still short 8,805 spaces. He was also correct regarding a listening session held in December 2017, along with the bill summary.
Missing from his narrative however, is the fact that two child care center providers compiled public DHS data demonstrating gross inconsistencies and overreach in interpretation of licensing regulations and sanctions in child care centers; data that from my perspective, as one of the two who compiled this data, is critical to solving the crisis.
It is important in my opinion, when referencing a state agency, to ensure accuracy of information. Considine referenced meeting with “Reggie Wagner, the director of licensing and also Deputy Inspector General Christopher Orr.”
While those individuals are employed by the DHS, Wagner is the Deputy Commissioner of Licensing, and Orr is the Legislation and External Affairs Director, DHS-wide Operation; Carolyn Ham is the Inspector General.
While it is true that Considine did reach out to one of the organizers of the listening session, we’ll have to agree to disagree on what followed.
Privately-owned child care businesses are being held to a different standard than publicly funded programs — evidenced in our data compilation.
The DFL had every opportunity to use the data or meet during any of the nearly 30 days we spent at the Capitol this session. From where I sit, this is less about the GOP, and more about regret over a missed opportunity by the DFL.