Since 2019, the City of Wabasha and its Port Authority have convened stakeholders and discussed ways to address the need for child care in Wabasha. Local employers in Wabasha have expressed concern about employment retention and attraction due to the lack of child care.

In addition to the American Rescue Plan Act funds received by the City of Wabasha, First Children’s Finance awarded the city with additional grant funds to help startup childcare businesses. This grant increases the city’s capacity to attract and support new childcare businesses and address the issues discussed with stakeholders. The previous iteration of the program that made funds available to existing providers will continue. Like many businesses, Covid-19 has had a negative impact on childcare providers.

“While the childcare crisis does not have easy solutions available, it is essential that we support existing providers and incentivize new childcare businesses or business expansion for existing providers. This grant helps accomplish that,” said Mayor Durand. “And we have more work to do in this spirit to support the children and their families and families’ employers who rely on high quality child care to ensure a healthy community.”

The new program will make five grants of $9000 available for startup child care businesses. Startup child care businesses within seven miles of the City of Wabasha can apply for this assistance. Grants up to $2500 are still available for existing childcare businesses within a seven mile radius of the City of Wabasha. The application and guidelines are available on the city’s website ( Grants available on a first come, first serve basis.

To learn more about the program and other child care grants available for building child care capacity, contact Ben Strand, CEDA Wabasha Economic Development Director: