Early Childhood Education
Investing in high quality early childhood education can make a difference in whether or not a child is ready for kindergarten. Children who start school with the social, emotional and developmental skills they need are more likely to do better in life.
The reality is that not all children are ready for kindergarten. That’s why Mayor Coleman believes high-quality early learning is an investment that will pay off by helping children be ready for school and beyond.
There are many things parents can do to help their infants and toddlers develop language skills and be ready for the world of pre-school and school. For tips and programs to help parents of our youngest learners, see what the Saint Paul Public Library has to offer, such as story times for parents and children at local libraries. Some sessions are offered in other languages like Hmong, Spanish and Somali.
Early Learning Scholarships
From 2008 – 2010 the Saint Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood was the site of an experiment by the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation (MELF) to provide low-income families with scholarships for their children to attend high-quality early learning programs. The experiment showed that children were better prepared if they attended programs with the highest ratings according to the rating system MELF developed.
Following the success of the MELF scholarships, the State of Minnesota approved funding for early learning scholarships. Children in Saint Paul are eligible for state scholarships. Governor Dayton has proposed additional funds in his 2013 budget to increase funding for early learning scholarships, pre-kindergarten programs and all-day kindergarten programs.
Race to the Top-Early Learning Child
In late 2011 Minnesota was one of nine states to be awarded a federal Race to the Top-Early Learning Child grant. The state received $45 million to expand its early learning scholarship program and increase the number of early learning providers that are highly rated, among other things. Saint Paul’s Promise Neighborhood is one of four Transformation Zones where state scholarships are available to qualifying families. These scholarships will be available through August 2015.
Use the Parent Aware site to help you find child care and early education providers in your area focused on high quality early learning and kindergarten readiness