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  • 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.

  • Monday, March 27, 2023 1:38 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    A group of St. Paul elected officials, educators and business owners is reviving its push for a special property tax levy to cover the costs of child care and early-learning programs for low-income families.

    A City Council-appointed Early Learning Legislative Advisory Committee (ELLAC) has been studying what such a program might look like since last year, when a petition to place a proposal on the ballot fell short on signatures. Read more.

  • Monday, March 20, 2023 12:18 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    For the first time in several years, child care providers are holding out hope state lawmakers understand the importance of early childhood education.

    Earlier this year, Governor Tim Walz proposed a handful of child care system investments to help families and providers across the state.

    Chad Dunkley is the CEO of New Horizon Academy and President of the Minnesota Childcare Association. He says even before the pandemic, the state has been fighting a child care crisis and these investments let him hope change is coming. Read more.

  • Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:37 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Gov. Tim Walz has made a simple — but ambitious — pledge in his second term: to put an end to children living in poverty in the state of Minnesota.

    The DFL governor's inaugural promise aims to lift roughly 139,000 children in the state above the poverty threshold and keep others from falling below that level, a change that experts say could be transformational for the trajectory of their lives and have wide-ranging benefits for the state. Read more.

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