Policy Hour: Reports Propose Solutions for Early Learning in Minnesota

Legislative Task Force on Child Care Access and Affordability

Senator Melissa Wiklund, DFL-Bloomington, was one of the presenters at the February Policy Hour organized by Minnesota’s Future and hosted by Think Small. Sen. Wiklund talked about a report by the Legislative Task Force on Child Care Access and Affordability.

Senator Wiklund presents at February Policy Hour.

Before creating the report, she explained that the committee met to discuss various issues around child care. They learned about the child care shortage in Greater Minnesota and heard from the Department of Human Services regarding changes to federal law that impact Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). They also heard from organization leaders, parents, and providers who shared their thoughts on what works and does not work for child care in Minnesota. Continue reading Policy Hour: Reports Propose Solutions for Early Learning in Minnesota

Prenatal to Three Policy Forums: Working Together for A Great Start

This month marks one year since the start of the Think Small blog. To celebrate, we’re using January to highlight information and initiatives from Think Small and our partners about infants and toddlers and their caregivers in Minnesota. This post is part of our series on children 0-3.

By: Representative Dave Pinto, District 64B

Representative Dave Pinto

Since the very beginning, my top priority as a legislator has been to make sure that every child in Minnesota gets off to a great start. The disparities that our state sees in education, economics, health, and the criminal justice system – some of the worst in the nation – are paralleled by disparities that begin with prenatal care and continue from birth and beyond.

Continue reading Prenatal to Three Policy Forums: Working Together for A Great Start

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.

Continue reading Make a Difference for Give to the Max Day

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

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.

Continue reading Celebrate Think Small Day with us!

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

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.

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

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

Never Give Up on the Children, Regardless of How Hard it Can Get

There is much to mourn over recent weeks, with terrible acts of violence in Louisiana, Texas, and our very own home Minnesota. Current events expose great rifts in our communities, including many communities we work with every day. Think Small wants the families, children and communities we serve to know that we stand with them during this extremely difficult time.

No one, regardless of the color of their skin or where they work, should live with the violence, hardships, or challenges we see flashed across our TV screens at night and in news reports in the morning. A traumatic event, such as watching your father being killed in front of you, can change the trajectory of a child’s whole life. And events like this have long lasting effects on families and communities.

Continue reading Never Give Up on the Children, Regardless of How Hard it Can Get