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2022 Legislative Session Update
By Ann McCully | April 25, 2022

As lawmakers return to the Capitol this week from their spring break, their focus will be on the passage of all of the omnibus bills (packages of policy and funding proposals by topic area) and negotiating differences in those proposals through conference committees. The current House and Senate bills are taking very different approaches to…

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The History of Inequity in Early Childhood Education
By Nikki Graf | March 25, 2022

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This famous quote from Spanish philosopher George Santayana is an important reminder for the early childhood education field. As we try to address knotty questions about compensation, professionalism, quality, and racial equity, understanding the history and evolution of child care in the United States can…

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The Importance of Play in Early Childhood
By Cory Woosley | March 8, 2022

A recent news story on National Public Radio highlights the continued need to promote a play-based approach to learning. A randomized, longitudinal study of over 2,900 low-income children in Tennessee found that those who attended a free, public pre-kindergarten program initially scored higher than their peers on school readiness, but by third grade, were doing…

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New Child Care Aware of America Report
By Diane Benjamin | February 23, 2022

Child Care Aware of America has issued a new report, “Demanding Change: Repairing Our Child Care System.” As the report states, “The pandemic illuminated how indispensable child care is for the well-being and economic security for our children, families, and communities, while simultaneously revealing the system’s many shortcomings. Child care has been underfunded for decades,…

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2022 Legislative Session Begins
By Ann McCully | February 9, 2022

The 2022 Legislative session began on January 31. While this is the “short” session focused on bonding and policy, there is already much activity related to early childhood issues. The current state budget is set through June 2023. A $7 billion surplus has allowed lawmakers to discuss potential additions. Later this month, the next budget…

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Eager-to-Learn Turns 20 – Part 2
By Diane Benjamin | January 25, 2022

In Part 1 of this blog post, we reviewed the early days of Eager-to-Learn. In this post, we look to the program’s future. Eager-to-Learn (ETL) began 20 years ago as a pioneering online learning program for early educators and continues to innovate and grow. One program priority is to keep addressing equity and accessibility through…

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Eager-to-Learn Turns 20 – Part 1
By Diane Benjamin | January 13, 2022

This year, Eager-to-Learn (ETL), our early education online learning platform, celebrates its 20th anniversary. An institution in Minnesota’s training environment today, ETL started when online learning was just emerging. As Cory Woosley, Director of Workforce Development, remembers, “Online learning was not a big thing twenty years ago. We worked with national partners to learn about…

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Empowering Families to Ask Questions
By Jen Goinz | December 1, 2021

Searching for child care can be a difficult process. There are so many factors to consider, and we know from research that cost is utmost in parents’ minds. However, we also want parents to be empowered to ask important questions before they select a child care program. Our publication Finding Child Care: A Guide for…

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Expanding Child Care Aware’s Public Policy Leadership
By Diane Benjamin | November 9, 2021

In August, Nikki Graf started a new position as Child Care Aware of Minnesota’s (CCAoMN) Public Policy Specialist. In this role, Nikki supports the CARE Fellows program and will provide help tracking legislation, organizing testimony, and networking with advocates during legislative sessions. Our Communications Director, Diane Benjamin, recently spoke with Nikki about her new role.…

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