ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Minnesota child care providers say their industry is facing a growing crisis.

The number of licensed providers has dropped from 12,000 in 2011 to its current level of 8,500 and that drop is most prevalent rural Minnesota. But daycare centers say the cost of starting a business is too expensive and fraught with regulations.

And while some child care providers have trouble attracting employees while feeling they can't charge parents higher rates, others are stretched thin.

Karen DeVos' Little Learners Day Care Center in Ada is the only licensed child care provider in all of Norman County. She says she has no openings until at least 2020 and turns away five to 10 families every week.

Providers like Hollee Seville say lawmakers should address the issue.