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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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

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

Celebrate Think Small’s 45th Anniversary at Open House

45th-anniversaryThink Small is celebrating its 45th Anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 13 with a community open house. The event will be hosted in our new office space in the lower level of the Minneapolis Location. Continue reading Celebrate Think Small’s 45th Anniversary at Open House

Register for Think Small’s 23rd Annual Family Child Care Business Seminar

copeland-photoThink Small’s 23rd Annual Family Child Care Business Seminar is coming up! It will be held November 5th at the Ramada Plaza Minneapolis. Use this opportunity to review 2016 tax forms and plan ahead for the coming tax season in this useful seminar led by family child care trainer and author, Tom Copeland, JD.

Earn six in-service hours (no partial credit given) and learn key record-keeping tips, new mileage and food reimbursement rates, new IRA (myRA), new $2,500 depreciation rule, common tax mistakes and more.

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Closing Opportunity Gaps to Shrink Achievement Gaps

By: Maya Fanjul-Debnam

The opportunity gap is one of the biggest obstacles our education system faces today.

As highlighted in a Minnpost op-ed written by Think Small President, Barbara Yates:

“Our achievement gaps start as opportunity gaps, where children do not have access to the opportunities they need to flourish and reach their full potential.”

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Word Pedometers Brought to Minneapolis to Help Close Word Gap

By: Maya Fanjul-Debnam

Minnesota is heralding in an innovative program to help close the word gap. The word gap–a 30 million word deficit between children from low income families and their more well-off peers– is evident by age 3. In order for it to be reversed, children need both parents and caregivers to speak, sing and read to them often.

This new approach to early literacy, originated by the LENA Research Foundation, is designed to make a tangible change to those stats by encouraging parents to be more intentional about building vocabulary-enhancing interactions into their parenting.  Continue reading Word Pedometers Brought to Minneapolis to Help Close Word Gap

Voters Agree: Early Education is a Top Priority

By: Maya Fanjul-Debnam

In this current political climate, tensions are running high between parties, and it appears as if there’s nothing we can agree on. Nothing that is, except early care and education.

A recent national poll conducted by the First Five Years Fund found that 90 percent of voters agree that Congress and the next president should work to make quality early education accessible to low and middle-income families. As highlighted in the First Five Years Fund study:

“There is overwhelming support—with little opposition—for a federal plan that helps states and local communities provide better access to quality early childhood education. Nearly three quarters of the electorate support this plan: 73% favor and only 24% oppose. 54% of Republicans, 70% of Independents, 91% of Democrats voice support. A majority of key swing voter groups also favor investing more in early childhood education from birth to age five.”

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Poverty’s Immense Impact on Brain Development During Childhood Explored

By: Maya Fanjul-Debnam

LEL FCC 2011More than 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level, $23,550 a year for a family of four.

Children living in poverty are often exposed to a cluster of circumstances that affect their brain development. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin Madison found that children from low-income families experience less cognitive stimulation, stressful living conditions and harsher parenting, which all affect brain growth and development.

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