For more information contact: Catherine Thompson 651-296-5499
ST. PAUL – Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) has introduced a bill (HF2701) to create Early Childhood Care and Learning Community Hubs in communities across Minnesota. These Hubs will promote coordinated and family-centered systems for the support and development of children ages birth to five. Central leadership in the district will be established to collect and analyze child development data, encouraging cooperation and coordination between local family, health and early education services. Funding to these services will be established to best serve their specific community.
"Minnesota's commitment to early education is now a question of how, not if,” said Rep. Rep. Thissen. “It would be extremely unfortunate if moving ahead on early childhood investment was slowed because of disagreements in St. Paul about the "how". This proposal moves that debate to where it should be -- in local regions where parents, teachers, childcare providers and other community leaders decide what works best for children and families in our communities."
The bill includes two grants. The first gives communities the capacity to establish Hub leadership and gives the Hub resources for data collection and analysis to determine the efficiency and engagement of its current early childhood programs as well as programs to support the children’s families. In addition, the grant allows the Hub to integrate efforts among health, education and other service providers, in a manner consistent with the specific needs of the community the Hub serves.
The second grant allows the Hub to go a step further and pool early childhood funding streams from the state to best serve their community-specific goals. The goal of the second grant is to implement a pre-K school readiness and academic success component that provides high-quality programming for the three and four-year-olds, and promotes ongoing parent involvement from pre-K through grade three.
“We are most effective when we’re all working toward the same goal,” said Rep. Thissen. “The Hubs will bring family, local community and state government groups together to help the growth and development of our kids. In a time of scarce resources and the unknown future of further funding, these participants call all work together in the best interests of our children.”
The bill has received its first reading and has been referred to the Education Innovation Policy committee.
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