Early Education Spotlight: Bloom Early Learning and Child Care

By: Marie Huey

Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent perspectives on what works, check out the Early Education Spotlight for unique examples of Minnesota’s early learning successes.

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Children make pizza with zucchini they grew in the Bloom garden.

Established in 2000, Bloom Early Learning & Child Care (formerly Kids’ Care Connection) is an accredited, award-winning, non-profit early learning center with a special mission to make the highest quality care, programs and curriculum accessible to the entire community. The center, located in Plymouth, Minnesota, is NAEYC accredited and 4-star Parent Aware rated. For a unique perspective on their program, here are some of the numbers that stand out at Bloom.
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Make a Difference for Give to the Max Day

Think Small is participating in Give to the Max Day on Nov. 17. Thgive-to-the-maxe annual event, sponsored by GiveMN, encourages Minnesotans to donate to their favorite nonprofits and charities on the same day.

Launched in 2009, Give to the Max Day raised $14 million in just 24 hours its first year. Now, thousands of organizations take part in the event to help improve Minnesotan’s quality of life.

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Policy Hour Highlights New Federal Rules in Head Start and Child Care

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Policy Hour was well-attended at Think Small’s Minneapolis location.

New federal policy changes will affect the Minnesota early learning field. November Policy Hour featured staff from the state departments of Education and Human Services sharing updates about the changes.

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Early Education Spotlight: Little Learners

By: Marie Huey

Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent perspectives on what works, check out the Early Education Spotlight for unique examples of Minnesota’s early learning successes.

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Children from Little Learners with the residents, “Grandmas and Grandpas.”

Little Learners in Ada, Minnesota, is set up to be unique. Located in the same building as Benedictine Living Community, which offers independent and assisted living options for adults, the early learning program finds many opportunities to partner with the “Grandmas and Grandpas.” Continue reading Early Education Spotlight: Little Learners

Come on In, the Water is Fine! Welcoming New Child Care Staff with a Purpose

Think Small is hosting an event to help child care directors welcome their newest staff members.During this two-hour, sharon-bergeninteractive session, participants will explore new employee orientation processes and systems that contribute to program quality. Additionally, participants will examine models for employee orientation and create a plan to incorporate research-based best practices for new employee orientation in their own program. Continue reading Come on In, the Water is Fine! Welcoming New Child Care Staff with a Purpose

Minnesota PreK-3 Design Team Releases Statewide Recommendations

A new group of early education experts released recommendations for how Minnesota can best improve the early care and education landscape across our state, a key area of focus to help close our worst in the nation achievement gaps. A group of early childhood stakeholders, the Minnesota PreK-3 Design Team, met with West Central Initiative and The McKnight Foundation to create a voluntary, statewide, mixed-delivery preschool approach in Minnesota. Continue reading Minnesota PreK-3 Design Team Releases Statewide Recommendations

Celebrate Think Small Day with us!

itstartedwithabus-18x24Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed today Think Small Day in Minnesota in honor of our 45th Anniversary. Now that’s something to celebrate! 

It all started with a bus. As more women entered the workforce, families needed quality child care for their families. We started by creating a mobile toy lending library that visited family child care homes. While children enjoyed supervised play on the bus, providers participated in training sessions aimed at improving the quality of care.

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Think Small Resource Fair: Connecting for Children

Join families, child care providers, and child care centers to discuss what you think about parent engagement. Tell us what changes you’d make, or what you want to remain the same. There will be food provided as well as activities for the children.

The event is free of charge, and will be held Oct. 14 from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Think Small West (2021 E Hennepin Ave. LL20).

Register today by calling 651-641-6667

Policy Hour Provides Updates on New Early Learning Legislation

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The first Minnesota’s Future Policy Hour of the season focused on legislation passed this spring. The presenters provided updates on implementation of projects.

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Register for a free child care providers training on healthy food choices

Think Small, Adults’ & Children’s Alliance, and the Cargill Foundation have partnered to provide free training for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) participants.

Continue reading Register for a free child care providers training on healthy food choices