Carlton County was accepted into the Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP), a community engagement process designed to address the challenges of child care in rural areas through the lens of economic development.

The program is led by First Children’s Finance and funded through the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

RCCIP guides communities in developing solutions addressing their unique needs. Access to quality child care in the early years prepares children for kindergarten and success in school and is essential to working families, employers and growing rural communities.

The purpose of RCCIP is to support existing early care and education businesses and to increase the supply of high-quality affordable child care. Part of this process involves gathering information about the current child care climate in Carlton County and the needs of county residents.

Representatives from the county and Fond du Lac Reservation are working together to help find solutions to address the child care shortage in the area and are inviting anyone interested in the subject to help contribute to find local solutions.

Carlton County employers, residents using child care and child care providers of all types are encouraged to complete a brief online survey via the following links to gather valuable feedback:

Surveys must be completed by Jan. 3.

In addition, there will be two community engagement events in January for those interested in contributing. Meals will be provided at both free events but registration is required.

For more information, contact Carlton County Jump Start 4 Kindergarten Coordinator Tess Christensen at jumpstart@co.carlton.mn.us.