CCAP, Early Learning Scholarships Key to Equity Conversation at #CYIB16

equity vs equalityThe 2016 Children and Youth Issues Briefing this week featured an important and inspiring conversation about the future of early learning in Minnesota.

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Think Small Announces 2016 Legislative Agenda

MN capitolThink 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.

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Three Tips for Eating Healthy with Kids

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.

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Early Learning Scholarship Helps Prepare Child for Kindergarten

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.

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MNStreams.org Changing to Develop in Summer 2016

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.

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New Evaluation Highlights Positive Impact of Early Learning Scholarships

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.

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Pheng’s Story: Spreading the Impact of Parent Empowerment

This is the third in a series of videos showing the impact high-quality early learning has on children, families and child care providers across Minnesota. Check back here for a new video every week in January.

We help parents learn the importance of their role as a child’s first teacher. Parents like Pheng, who is a great mom to begin with, learned a lot in our Parent Empowerment program, particularly that children need to start getting ready to succeed in school long before their fourth birthday. Pheng listened, took action, and is now making a difference in the Hmong community educating other parents on their important roles.

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Early Learning Scholarship Changes Bobbi’s Family Forever

This is the second in a series of videos showing the impact high-quality early learning has on children, families and child care providers across Minnesota. Check back here for a new video every week in January.

Chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about Early Learning Scholarships, but I’m guessing you’ve never heard from a family impacted by one. That may be because only 12% of children from eligible families for scholarships receive one.

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Respond Now! Your input needed for Child Care Business Update

kid workingEvery year, Think Small collects valuable information about all licensed child care programs in the metro area on behalf of the Department of Human Services. This provides the most up to date information for:

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Register for Free Healthy Eating Training for Child Care Providers

harvest kids 2Healthy eating habits are important, especially for young children in the U.S. Unfortunately; childhood obesity has skyrocketed in recent years, setting many children on an unhealthy path. That’s just one reason Early Sprouts is such an important program.

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