Overview Link copied!

Click on a result for more information.

Strategy Name Strategy Type(s) Year Funding Amount Funding Source Features at a Glance
Birth to Age Eight Collaborative Initiative
In 2014, the Birth to Age Eight Collaborative Initiative was launched in Dakota County to streamline early childhood services, ensuring school readiness for children from birth to age 8 in specific school districts. This initiative is designed to ensure that all children in Dakota County are ready for school by the time they enter kindergarten, with a special focus on critical developmental milestones such as health at birth and reading proficiency by third grade. The collaborative nature of the initiative is one of its most distinguishing features, involving a partnership among Dakota County Public Health, social services, four school districts, and various nonprofit organizations. It leverages in-kind funding, mainly from Dakota County Public Health Department, and state grants, significantly increasing children's program engagement. Through this initiative, Dakota County has been able to create a data-sharing portal to track milestones, developed communication methods to promote early childhood screenings, and implemented a referral process for WIC. This initiative has received rewards from National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in 2018 and National Association of Counties (NACo) in 2017. Sources: Dakota County. Star Tribune
  • Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems
    • Data Systems
    2014
    In 2014, the Birth to Age Eight Collaborative Initiative was launched in Dakota County to streamline early childhood services, ensuring school readiness for children from birth to age 8 in specific school districts. This initiative is designed to ensure that all children in Dakota County are ready for school by the time they enter kindergarten, with a special focus on critical developmental milestones such as health at birth and reading proficiency by third grade. The collaborative nature of the initiative is one of its most distinguishing features, involving a partnership among Dakota County Public Health, social services, four school districts, and various nonprofit organizations. It leverages in-kind funding, mainly from Dakota County Public Health Department, and state grants, significantly increasing children's program engagement. Through this initiative, Dakota County has been able to create a data-sharing portal to track milestones, developed communication methods to promote early childhood screenings, and implemented a referral process for WIC. This initiative has received rewards from National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in 2018 and National Association of Counties (NACo) in 2017. Sources: Dakota County. Star Tribune
    Great Start Compensation Support Payment Program
    In 2023, Minnesota lawmakers created the Great Start Compensation Support Payment Program, which provides funding to enhance compensation and benefits for early educators across the state. This program builds on a previous initiative called the Child Care Stabilization Grant Program. To receive funds, providers must be (1) licensed, certified, or registered; (2) in good standing with either the Minnesota Department of Human Services or their Tribe; (3) open, operating and serving children during the funding period; and (4) serve a minimum number of children during the funding period . Family child care providers, licensed centers, and certified centers are eligible to participate in this program. 100% of Compensation Support Payment funds must be used to increase compensation for all child care workers who regularly care for children in  centers licensed or certified by the state or Tribe. Family child care providers licensed by the state or a Tribe have more flexibility in terms of how they use their funds; for example, they may use funds to pay for personnel costs (e.g., salaries, bonuses, or benefits), rent or mortgage payments, equipment or supplies, or professional learning expenses. Grant amounts are determined by the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff who regularly care for children. Providers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program, receiving Early Learning Scholarship payments,  or located in a Child Care Access Equity Area are eligible for a 10% bonus on top of the original grant. Learn More: Great Start Compensation Payment Program Sources: Minnesota Department of Human Services. (2023). Great Start Compensation Support Payment Program. Minnesota Department of Human Services. (2023). Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grants Frequently Asked Questions.
    • Workforce
      • Benefits
        • Bonuses and Supplemental Pay
        2023 $316 million in first two years; $130 million each year after that
        Department of Human Services (DHS)
        Monthly payments to child care providers to increase compensation and benefits for early educators; grants range from $360-390 per month per full-time educator
        In 2023, Minnesota lawmakers created the Great Start Compensation Support Payment Program, which provides funding to enhance compensation and benefits for early educators across the state. This program builds on a previous initiative called the Child Care Stabilization Grant Program. To receive funds, providers must be (1) licensed, certified, or registered; (2) in good standing with either the Minnesota Department of Human Services or their Tribe; (3) open, operating and serving children during the funding period; and (4) serve a minimum number of children during the funding period . Family child care providers, licensed centers, and certified centers are eligible to participate in this program. 100% of Compensation Support Payment funds must be used to increase compensation for all child care workers who regularly care for children in  centers licensed or certified by the state or Tribe. Family child care providers licensed by the state or a Tribe have more flexibility in terms of how they use their funds; for example, they may use funds to pay for personnel costs (e.g., salaries, bonuses, or benefits), rent or mortgage payments, equipment or supplies, or professional learning expenses. Grant amounts are determined by the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff who regularly care for children. Providers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program, receiving Early Learning Scholarship payments,  or located in a Child Care Access Equity Area are eligible for a 10% bonus on top of the original grant. Learn More: Great Start Compensation Payment Program Sources: Minnesota Department of Human Services. (2023). Great Start Compensation Support Payment Program. Minnesota Department of Human Services. (2023). Great Start Compensation Support Transition Grants Frequently Asked Questions.
        Minnesota Department of Children, Youth, and Families
        In 2023, Minnesota lawmakers passed and the governor signed legislation to create a transition process and establish a new cabinet-level state agency—the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). Core programs from four current state agencies (the Departments of Education, Human Services, Health, and Public Safety), including  services and programs related to early education and care, will transfer to the new agency. The DCYF will also administer out-of-school-time programs serving youth and families, including after-school, food assistance, and child welfare programs. State leaders created this dedicated agency to foster stronger coordination and better outcomes across programs serving children and families. The DCYF will be established in July 2024; the state will finish transferring programs to the new agency by July 2025. Learn More: DCYF Implementation Sources: Minnesota Legislature. (2023). Minnesota Session Laws: Chapter 70—S.F.No. 2995. Minnesota Office of Management and Budget. (2023). Implementation office for the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Shockman, E. (2023, May 31). Minnesota lawmakers pledge at least $300 million toward early education. Minnesota Public Radio News.
        • Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems
          • Administrative + Governance Models
          2023 $13 million in FY24; $5.5 million in FY25
          State created a transition process to establish a new agency to oversee early education services and programs + out-of-school-time programs serving youth and families
          In 2023, Minnesota lawmakers passed and the governor signed legislation to create a transition process and establish a new cabinet-level state agency—the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). Core programs from four current state agencies (the Departments of Education, Human Services, Health, and Public Safety), including  services and programs related to early education and care, will transfer to the new agency. The DCYF will also administer out-of-school-time programs serving youth and families, including after-school, food assistance, and child welfare programs. State leaders created this dedicated agency to foster stronger coordination and better outcomes across programs serving children and families. The DCYF will be established in July 2024; the state will finish transferring programs to the new agency by July 2025. Learn More: DCYF Implementation Sources: Minnesota Legislature. (2023). Minnesota Session Laws: Chapter 70—S.F.No. 2995. Minnesota Office of Management and Budget. (2023). Implementation office for the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Shockman, E. (2023, May 31). Minnesota lawmakers pledge at least $300 million toward early education. Minnesota Public Radio News.
          Empower to Educate
          Created in 2022 with funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Empower to Educate is a workforce development program offering financial support, free training options, job skills training, job placement support, and connections to mentorship opportunities. Participants can also receive ongoing support from a local Workforce Advisor. Empower to Educate provides one-on-one, individualized support to each participant. Workforce Advisors can help participants navigate the early education system for individual coursework, complete the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, and make connections to college-level courses and T.E.A.C.H. scholarship opportunities. Learn more: Child Care Aware Minnesota Sources: Child Care Aware Minnesota. (2022). Empower to Educate is Launched. Child Care Aware Minnesota. (n.d.). Professional Development.
          • Workforce
            • Professional Learning
            2022
            Includes training, financial support, job placement support, and mentorship
            Created in 2022 with funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Empower to Educate is a workforce development program offering financial support, free training options, job skills training, job placement support, and connections to mentorship opportunities. Participants can also receive ongoing support from a local Workforce Advisor. Empower to Educate provides one-on-one, individualized support to each participant. Workforce Advisors can help participants navigate the early education system for individual coursework, complete the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, and make connections to college-level courses and T.E.A.C.H. scholarship opportunities. Learn more: Child Care Aware Minnesota Sources: Child Care Aware Minnesota. (2022). Empower to Educate is Launched. Child Care Aware Minnesota. (n.d.). Professional Development.
            Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force
            In 2021, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law bipartisan legislation creating the Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force. The task force was charged with developing a state plan to ensure all families "have access to affordable, high-quality early care and education that enriches, nurtures, and supports children and their families." The task force was comprised of 11 voting members appointed by the Governor, 4 voting members appointed by the legislature, and 22 non-voting members appointed by other individuals; membership included state agency representatives, child care providers, elected officials, and others. The task force completed their work and delivered a final report recommending various state actions for improving the accessibility, affordability, and quality of early education and care across the state. Learn More: Great start for All Minnesota Children Task Force Sources: Minnesota Office of Management and Budget. (n.d.). Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force. Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force. (2023, February 1). Final Report.
            • Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems
              • Administrative + Governance Models
              2021
              State of Minnesota
              State created a task force to provide recommendations for improving and expanding early education and care
              In 2021, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law bipartisan legislation creating the Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force. The task force was charged with developing a state plan to ensure all families "have access to affordable, high-quality early care and education that enriches, nurtures, and supports children and their families." The task force was comprised of 11 voting members appointed by the Governor, 4 voting members appointed by the legislature, and 22 non-voting members appointed by other individuals; membership included state agency representatives, child care providers, elected officials, and others. The task force completed their work and delivered a final report recommending various state actions for improving the accessibility, affordability, and quality of early education and care across the state. Learn More: Great start for All Minnesota Children Task Force Sources: Minnesota Office of Management and Budget. (n.d.). Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force. Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force. (2023, February 1). Final Report.
              Child Care Economic Development Grant
              In 2021, Minnesota established a grant fund, administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), to fund solutions to reduce the child care shortage and support economic development across the state. The state authorized $2.5 million in spending from this fund in fiscal years 2022 and 2023. Funding is provided in the form of grants to local communities; at least 50% of the funds must go to communities outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The grant can be used toward the cost of acquiring a building as well as rehab or renovation costs; applicants may request up to $300,000. DEED uses approximately 3% of appropriated funds to administer and monitor the program. Learn more: child care economic development Grant Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. (n.d.). Child care economic development.
              • Expansion
                • Physical Space and Facilities
                2021 $2.5 million in 2022; $2.5 million in 2023
                One-time funding
                In 2021, Minnesota established a grant fund, administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), to fund solutions to reduce the child care shortage and support economic development across the state. The state authorized $2.5 million in spending from this fund in fiscal years 2022 and 2023. Funding is provided in the form of grants to local communities; at least 50% of the funds must go to communities outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The grant can be used toward the cost of acquiring a building as well as rehab or renovation costs; applicants may request up to $300,000. DEED uses approximately 3% of appropriated funds to administer and monitor the program. Learn more: child care economic development Grant Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. (n.d.). Child care economic development.
                Minnesota Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System
                Created in 2016, the Minnesota Department of Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (ECLDS) is an early childhood integrated data system that functions as a warehouse. The system stores and integrates deidentified demographic, program, and individual data on publicly funded early childhood programs and services for young children and families (e.g., Birth Records, Child Care Assistance Program, Early Education, Home Visiting, etc.) across Minnesota’s departments of Education, Health, and Human Services. Private data is shared through the agencies’ data-sharing agreements, and public data are reported at an aggregated (grouped) level. The ECLDS acts as a companion to Minnesota’s Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System to create a P-20 system. The system is funded by federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grants and Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants. The ECLDS also receives funds from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as part of statewide longitudinal data system appropriations. Learn More: Minnesota Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System Other sources:US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Education. (2016). The Integration of Early Childhood Data
                • Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems
                  • Data Systems
                  2016
                  • Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grants
                  • Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants
                  • Minnesota Office of Higher Education
                  Early Childhood Integrated Data System
                  Created in 2016, the Minnesota Department of Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (ECLDS) is an early childhood integrated data system that functions as a warehouse. The system stores and integrates deidentified demographic, program, and individual data on publicly funded early childhood programs and services for young children and families (e.g., Birth Records, Child Care Assistance Program, Early Education, Home Visiting, etc.) across Minnesota’s departments of Education, Health, and Human Services. Private data is shared through the agencies’ data-sharing agreements, and public data are reported at an aggregated (grouped) level. The ECLDS acts as a companion to Minnesota’s Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System to create a P-20 system. The system is funded by federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grants and Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants. The ECLDS also receives funds from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as part of statewide longitudinal data system appropriations. Learn More: Minnesota Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System Other sources:US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Education. (2016). The Integration of Early Childhood Data
                  Download This Table

                  Demographics Link copied!

                  Demographics Data Scorecard

                  State population

                  5,717,184

                  Rural %

                  28.1%

                  Urban %

                  71.9%

                  Number of children 0–4

                  337,504

                  Poverty levels - children 0—8 below 200% poverty

                  29%

                  Median family income among households with children

                  $103,700.00

                  Unemployment rate

                  2.5%

                  Unemployment rate of parents

                  3%

                  Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force

                  76%

                  Children living in households with a high housing cost burden

                  31%

                  Child Population by Race and Ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

                  Race and Ethnicity

                  • American Indian and Alaska Native (1%)
                  • Asian (6%)
                  • Black or African American (11%)
                  • Hispanic or Latino (9%)
                  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (0.49%)
                  • Two or more races (5%)
                  • White, not Hispanic or Latino (67%)
                  Year 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
                  Governor D D D D D
                  State House D R R R R
                  State Senate D D D D D

                  Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

                  Early Childhood Education Programs

                  Public Pre-K Program Name

                  Voluntary Prekindergarten/School Readiness Plus (VPK/SRP) Source 2023

                  Universal or Targeted Pre-K Policy

                  Targeted Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) Source 2023

                  Early Childhood Education Programs (3-Year-Olds) Source 2023

                  Programs

                  • Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs (1%)
                  • 3-Year-old Children Enrolled in Head Start (7%)
                  • Other/None (92%)

                  Early Childhood Education Programs (4-Year-Olds) Source 2023

                  Programs

                  • Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs (11%)
                  • 4-Year-old Children Enrolled in Head Start (6%)
                  • Other/None (84%)

                  Workforce Link copied!

                  2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020

                  Role

                  • Child Care Workers
                    $11.79 (2017, adjusted)
                    $12.06 (2019)
                  • Preschool Teachers
                    $15.62 (2017, adjusted)
                    $17.46 (2019)
                  • Preschool or Child Care Center Directors
                    $25.48 (2017, adjusted)
                    $28.40 (2019)

                  Funding Sources Link copied!

                  Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in Millions) Source First Five Yers Fund, 2022

                  Funding Source

                  • Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($143.3)
                  • CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($129)
                  • CCDBG State Match ($23.1)
                  • CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations - CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($709.8)
                  • State-Funded Pre-K ($48.6)
                  • MIECHV ($8.8)
                  • IDEA Part C ($11.7)
                  • IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($11.5)
                  • TANF Early Learning and Care ($164.8)
                  • Preschool Development Grant Birth ($11.6)