Child care workers look forward to frontline worker bonus pay

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(ABC 6 News) – After over a year of waiting, frontline workers will can apply to receive bonus pay. After Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed it into law last month, the Minnesota Department of Labor announced applications will open June 8.

Childcare workers at Families First Minnesota worked through the worst of the pandemic. After a mandatory shutdown in March 2020, they opened back up just a few months later in July. Teachers at Families First still deal with a high risk of COVID-19 every day at work.

"We work with the only population that is still not vaccinated. Many of the parents of the children we serve are frontline workers themselves. They work in healthcare, they work in hotels, and the service industry," said Jon Losness, the executive director at Families First.

Child care workers at Children’s Place Nursery school say that these checks are more than just extra cash. They are a symbol of value and appreciation.

"If you’re in child care you’re not doing it for the money. It’s just being valued, and knowing that yeah, we’re a part of this too and we’re important. And we stepped up and we didn’t close," said Brenda Parshall, with Children’s Place Nursery School.

Frontline workers can apply for bonus pay from June 8 to July 22. Employers have to tell eligible employees about how to apply for bonus pay within 15 days of the application period opening. Frontline workers include health care, child care, food, school workers and others that worked in-person from March 2020 to June 2021.

Applicants can find more information on the Department of Labor and Industry’s frontline worker pay website.