On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at 7:00 pm, Minnesota will hold precinct caucuses around the state. They are the beginning of a process that Minnesota’s major political parties use for choosing the candidates and the issues they will support in elections. You can find out where your caucus is by using the Secretary of State’s Caucus Finder.
Minnesota Management and Budget released Minnesota’s economic forecast this morning, and the state’s surplus has decreased slightly to $900 million for the next budget cycle.
The November economic forecast expected a $1.2 billion surplus. The slight downturn is attributed to lowered predictions for state income, sales and corporate tax revenues in 2016 and 2017 by $466 million, according to the Star Tribune.
Children attending a Parent Aware rated program are making significant gains in the skills they need to succeed in kindergarten, according to a third party evaluation of the Minnesota programs.
Nationally, Minnesota ranks 46th for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) high school graduation and is home to one of the largest white-AAPI proficiency gaps for fourth-grade reading. A new report released this week by MinnCAN, a local organization working to ensure every child in our state has access to a great public school, highlights the challenges faced by AAPI students and policy recommendations for helping solve this important issue.
The 2016 Children and Youth Issues Briefing this week featured an important and inspiring conversation about the future of early learning in Minnesota.
Think Small is dedicated to continue improving the early learning landscape across Minnesota, impacting the lives of children and the future of our state and starting with the children who need our help the most. Children from low-income families face the steepest obstacles to success. Nearly 50 percent of children in Minnesota begin kindergarten not fully prepared with the necessary skills to succeed in school. We know many of these children are from low-income families and often never catch up to their more well off peers.
Preschool age children develop eating habits they will practice for the rest of their lives, so they are at an ideal age to experience and learn about healthy eating.
At the early preschool age, children are able to self-regulate and stop eating, even a favorite food, when they are full. As children grow they become more aware of external cues and social messages around food and their ability to self-regulate decreases. At this point children are more likely to want a food because a friend or family member is eating it or because of media exposure to the food. It is much easier and effective to teach healthy eating habits than to attempt to change unhealthy ones! Here are some tools for helping children form healthy habits.
Meet Lisa Wilson. She is a single mother to a rambunctious 4 year-old. They try hard to make ends meet every month, but sometimes it just didn’t work out. Child care is a huge expense, and Lisa knew her daughter was not on track to be ready for kindergarten. Lisa felt trapped, knowing that her daughter needed to get on a better path to success. An Early Learning Scholarship changed everything.
Beginning July 1, 2016, MNStreams.org – Child Care Aware of Minnesota’s current online catalog for face-to-face trainings – will no longer be accessible. In its place, early learning and school-age care professionals will be able to search and register for trainings approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development (MNCPD) using Develop, Minnesota’s Quality Improvement and Registry Tool.
The Minnesota Department of Education delivered an evaluation of Early Learning Scholarships to the Minnesota Legislature this week, which found that children who receive Early Learning Scholarships are making significant gains in the skills they need for school and life. This is the first evaluation of the program.