The Minnesota State Senate passed a series of bipartisan bills aimed at addressing the problem of inadequate, expensive childcare by encouraging existing providers to stay in business and lower the barriers to entry for new providers.

Madison Lake Republican Senator Rich Draheim.

Madison Lake Republican Senator Rich Draheim said he hears constantly from working families that have little to no options for childcare, and lessening burdensome and unnecessary regulations childcare providers face is a good first step toward keeping them in business and increasing choices for parents who want, or need, to work.

The proposals make staffing requirements more flexible, reduce unnecessary paperwork, provide more transparency for providers and the public, require the Department of Human Services to identify onerous regulatory burdens and take steps to reduce them, and exempt most providers from unnecessary training.

In addition, the bill would exempt most minor children of in-home childcare providers from providing fingerprints and photographs for background study purposes – a demeaning practice Draheim said treated the children like criminals.