‘Labor of Love: Stories from the Frontline of the Childcare Crisis’ Documentary Premiere Screening

(ABC 6 News) – Monday is Childcare Day of Action, and local organizations are speaking out about the challenges childcare professionals are facing.

The organization ‘Kids Count on Us’ is hosting a screening of a Minnesota-made documentary about the life of a childcare provider, titled, ‘Labor of Love: Stories from the Frontline of the Childcare Crisis.”

The half-hour documentary is premiering statewide with a showing in St. Paul, one near Duluth, and one in Rochester.

The documentary highlights the important roles that child care providers play in our communities and changes they’re working to make in the industry. From raising wages, addressing staffing shortages, and overall changing the narrative about the profession.

“I mean, it really illustrates what we all go through on a regular basis that we put so much heart and passion and care into our work,” says Christina Valdez, Director of Listos Preschool and Childcare. “It’s really impactful. We’re gonna have popcorn there, but you also need your tissues.”

Childcare providers are worried that state funding they’ve been relying on for the past two years could be cut in half as lawmakers continue to debate the Minnesota state budget.

The goal of this documentary is to inspire people to contact their lawmakers and elected officials, advocating for early child care funding.

Karin Swenson, Director of Meadow Park Preschool and Child Care Center, says this is important, “because parents are paying nearly the equivalent of college tuition, to have their child in an early child care experience. And when our staff are getting paid around $13 an hour at average, something needs to give and it needs to change, because the equation currently doesn’t work.”

After the screening there will be a community discussion about how we can solve issues the industry is facing, and there will also be resources provided on how people can contact city, county, state, and federal officials.

The premiere screening will be held Monday night at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, doors open at 6 pm, the film will begin at 6:30 pm. It is free and open to everyone.