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  • Friday, September 01, 2023 2:55 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    At Primrose School of Champlin Park, 3-year-olds are being introduced to Spanish, and at Four Directions Family Center on E. Lake Street in Minneapolis, they are immersed in the Dakota and Ojibwe languages.

    Advocates say the brain develops most rapidly in a child's youngest years — so why wait until preschool?

    State-funded scholarships commonly associated with 4-year-old preschoolers are being expanded in a big way in 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 to give more low-income infants and toddlers access to richer, more consistent programming. The multimillion-dollar infusion of financial support is the result of a long campaign to get kids off to an early start on their education — really, really early. Read more.

  • Tuesday, August 29, 2023 6:53 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    MINNEAPOLIS – Experts warn the country could be on the brink of a child care funding "cliff" next month when COVID-era relief money expires.

    The American Rescue Plan, a pandemic aid package, included $40 billion for the child care industry to stay afloat, including Child Care Stabilization Base Grants, or payments to providers mostly so they can pay their workers more and keep them from leaving. But that funding runs dry Sept. 30. Read more.

  • Saturday, July 22, 2023 2:49 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) -- Lieutenant Governor Flanagan visited Winona to celebrate expanding childcare access throughout Minnesota.

    Flanagan met with White House officials earlier this week discussing childcare issues, and how Minnesota can make childcare accessible for more people. 

    The Minnesota budget signed into law includes over $1.3 billion in support of childcare workforce, along with expanding childcare access. 

    Flanagan says she prioritizes making Minnesota the best state in the country to raise a child. Read more.

  • Wednesday, June 28, 2023 11:18 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    It's being called the New Minnesota Miracle. Our children are smiling, even the babies with their lopsided grins. The Legislature and governor have taken steps to make our state a great place to be a child.

    If anything will change the landscape and have an impact on future generations of Minnesotans, it is the recent legislation providing support and funding for our youngest citizens: our babies and toddlers. Read more.

  • Monday, June 26, 2023 3:02 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    "What are you most proud of accomplishing this session?" Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman's answer to that question posed by Minnesota Reformer reporter Michelle Griffith caught my eye.

    Did Hortman say securing reproductive rights, increasing the child care tax credit, increasing the tax exemption for Social Security income, providing free school lunches to all kids or legalizing marijuana? It was none of the above. Read more.

  • Thursday, June 08, 2023 3:35 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Mike Braun (R-IN) to introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation to improve the availability and quality – and lower the cost – of childcare in agricultural and rural communities.

    A companion version of the Expanding Childcare in Rural America (ECRA) Act of 2023 was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-3), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR-5), Tracey Mann (R-KS-1), and Yadira Caraveo (D-CO-8). Read more.

  • Wednesday, April 26, 2023 3:22 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Decades-old educator resource Developmentally Appropriate Practice (from the National Association for the Education of Young Children) under fire; learn more and add your name to a letter of support

  • Monday, April 10, 2023 5:38 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Every morning, Mary Solheim looks forward to seeing the children at Playschool Child Care in Maplewood, where she works as the director. But in recent years, the joy of the work has been tempered by worry about what will happen if too many of her staff are out.

    State-mandated staffing ratios, which limit the number of children each staffer can care for, are serious business, Solheim said. It's rare, but occasionally she has to close classrooms, and families have to make other child-care arrangements for a day. But for any child care in the state, being out-of-ratio — because not enough staffers show up for work, or because there aren't enough people to fill jobs in the first place — means risking license violations. Too many violations, and a child care could be forced to close. Read more.

  • Friday, April 07, 2023 7:02 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Minnesota state lawmakers are making progress on a bill that would create a new state Department of Children, Youth and Families. The idea was introduced by Governor Tim Walz during his budget proposal presentation in January.

    “It’s smart to have a department whose focus is on child development and families and supporting them in those critical years,” said Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul), who authored the House version of the bill.

    As written, the bill would transfer responsibilities from existing state agencies to the new department. Read more.

  • Saturday, April 01, 2023 9:18 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    March 30, 2023—We are deeply saddened about the children and staff whose innocent lives were taken in Monday’s school shooting in Nashville. We mourn alongside their families, their community, and our nation. Sadly, this most recent tragedy is one of many examples of gun violence in our communities and in our schools. We cannot continue down this path. This must stop. As providers who are entrusted with the care and education of young children every day, we prioritize first and foremost the health and safety of our children and educators. While each of us takes strong measures to ensure the safety of the children in our care, we strongly believe there is more to be done to prevent these types of violent acts in our communities. View and download the full letter.

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