Invest Early, Invest Smart: Expanding Access to Quality Early Learning

More than one-third of Minnesota’s children age 5 and under – 156,000 children -- live in low-income households.
 
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At best, about half of these high-need children have access to quality early learning. A recent Early Childhood forum hosted by Wilder Research looked at solutions.

Highlighting these facts and more, Richard Chase, Senior Research Manager, Wilder Research advocated to change QRIS (Quality Rating Improvement System) to ERIAS (Effectiveness rating, improvement, and access system) at a recent forum hosted by Wilder Research.

View video of Richard's presentation

 

 Panel Discussion

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The group also heard from on-the-ground experts about four approaches to close the gap and the advantages and challenges of each:
  • School Readiness Connection child care subsidy pilot -- Heather Reynolds, Cherish the Children Learning Center, Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center
    View video 
  • Itasca Area Schools Collaborative's Invest Early -- Mary Kosak, Blandin Foundation
    View video 
  • Scholarships for individual families -- Angelique Kedem, Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, Wilder Foundation
    View video
  • TANF-funded targeted home visiting -- Sheila Kiscaden, Coordinator, Coalition for Targeted Home Visiting
    View video
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View handouts from the forum -- a 4-page brief on increasing early learning access and a summary of the table discussions.
 

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 Early Childhood Studies