Crow Wing County Community Services as part of Region Five was recognized with a Local Government Innovation Award from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota for its innovative work and collaboration on family childcare licensing.

The Local Government Innovation Awards support local government redesign efforts and recognize outstanding cities, counties, towns and schools in Minnesota that demonstrate results in improving local services.

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A media release from The Humphrey School of Public Affairs shared the following: "The Region Five+ Family Child Care Licensing Collaboration created an innovative solution for family childcare licensing by combining the licensing roles of seven counties into three regional licensors. This collaborative effort addressed a workforce shortage, created consistency in the application of regulations across the counties, and eliminated the duplication of efforts within its counties at a crucial time when the availability of family childcare is hitting a crisis point."

The winners receive a $5,000 grant to continue their work, as well as create a marketing video to increase awareness.

"We are fortunate to have a strong community partner in Sourcewell. The Region Five directors trust in the ability of Sourcewell to do great work. This partnership not only improves customer service for both the persons we license and for our state partners but also streamlines process and procedures among our region," Kara Terry, director of Community Services, said of the award.

For more information on becoming a licensed family child care provider, visit or call the licensor at 218-895-4120.