Minnesota charter school is solving the rural childcare problem / by Chris Stewart

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From the Advocate Tribune:

Like many small communities in Greater Minnesota, Echo has struggled with a dearth in childcare providers. Across the region, parents grapple with where to send their children, with many young families ultimately making the decision to move to a different community.

The crisis in childcare has prompted a variety of different solutions. In Clarkfield, the city is funding and overseeing the construction of a public daycare center, while in Granite Falls, Minnesota West is leasing space on campus to a private provider. Both projects expect to open later this year.

In Echo, the Every Child Has Opportunities (ECHO) Charter School is stepping up to provide their own solution to the childcare shortage problem. They are now in the final stages of opening a full time day care center located on site at the school, known as Bottle Rockets Child Care.

“It’s been an arduous process, but we’re very close,” says ECHO Director Helen Blue-Redner. She explains that they are currently working on ensuring compliance with the Minnesota Department of Health regulations. “It’s all intended to make sure we’re not just housing children, but educating them,” she said.