In the absence of leadership and funding from the federal and state governments, a number of cities across the country have stepped into the gap by providing city-wide early childhood learning and care. To date, however, no city in Minnesota has done so despite the proven benefits to both children and the community as a whole.
The Saint Paul City Council sought to explore how the City can achieve a city-wide program that will yield great returns for children, families, business, and the community at large. Early childhood education helps eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps, decreases the poverty rate through support of parents, and provides an economic boost for families who no longer have to worry about the expenses of care for their preschool age children.
On July 27, 2022, the City Council passed Res 22-1183, which established the creation of an Early Learning Legislative Advisory Committee.
Description: The limited-term legislative advisory committee worked with the Saint Paul City Council and the City to:
- evaluate a locally governed program to ensure universal and equitable access to early care and education for all Saint Paul children (the "Program"); and
- explore public funding, and any other relevant funding options, for the Program, including the possible use of public dollars.
The Committee was empowered to make recommendations to the City Council on the potential design and implementation of the Program and, if appropriate, to propose legislation that would establish the Program. The Early Learning Legislative Advisory Committee presented its final recommendations to the City Council on March 22, 2023.
Maggie Barnes, Licensed Family Child Care Provider
Rachel Boettcher, Community Member
Lynne Bolton, Saint Paul Federation of Teachers
Eric Haugee, Community Member
Halla Henderson, Saint Paul School Board
Mitra Jalali, City Council, Ward 4
Megan Jekot, Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood
Hwa Jeong Kim, Minnesota Voice
LaVon Lee, American Indian Montessori
Nicolee Mensing, Head Start
Camila Mercado Michelli, CLUES
Kristenza Nelson, Community Member
Rebecca Noecker, City Council, Ward 2
Khalid Omar, Kids Count on Us, ISAIAH
Kera Peterson, Regional Labor Federation
Tracy Roscoe, ISAIAH
Clare Sanford, Minnesota Child Care Association
Maria Scot, Community Member
Sai Thao, Hmong Early Childhood Coalition
Stephanie Thomas, Minnesota Child Care Association
Brianna Trinidad Sprung, Saint Paul Public Library
Leah VanDassor, Saint Paul Federation of Teachers
Zang Vang-Lee, Hmong Early Childhood Coalition
Quentin Wathum-Ocama, Saint Paul Public Schools, Office of Early Learning
Nelsie Yang, City Council, Ward 6
Barbara Yates, Think Small
Meeting Calendar: The Committee met approximately biweekly on Thursday evenings.
Thursday, 10/27 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Thursday, 11/10 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Thursday, 11/17 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Neighborhood House: 179 Robie St E, St Paul
Thursday, 12/1 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Thursday, 1/5 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Thursday, 1/19 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Thursday, 2/2 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Thursday, 2/16 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Thursday, 3/2 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Thursday, 3/9 - 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Legislative Update with Rep. Dave Pinto (optional online meeting)
Thursday, 3/16 - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Rondo Library: 461 Dale St N, St Paul
Meetings were conducted in person pursuant to Minnesota Open Meeting Law, Minnesota Statutes, chapter 13D: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/13D.