School-based child care programs provide care and education for children before and after school, offering opportunities for social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development.
Sponsored by Rep. Laurie Pryor (DFL-Minnetonka), HF3485 would increase the age range of children served by school-age care programs to include students with a disability in prekindergarten programs through eighth grade, and increase funding for school-age care programs.
The bill was laid over Thursday by the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee for possible omnibus bill inclusion. Its companion, SF3488, sponsored by Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie), awaits action by the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee.
“Early intervention is the most effective intervention,” Pryor said, referring to potential benefits youth ages 3-4, particularly those with special needs, would have in prekindergarten school-care programs. Parents with children in middle schools would also benefit with extended day care programs, she said.
The ongoing pandemic highlights the problems for families with children with special needs. These are unmet needs that the state ought to fulfill, Pryor said.