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01/04/2018

Presidents of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations today announced a renewed commitment to early childhood programming across Greater Minnesota, featuring an increasingly diverse set of strategies that reflect local priorities.

“Our foundations have worked with numerous partners since 2003 to ensure every child in Greater Minnesota has the best opportunity to lead a healthy life of learning, achieving and succeeding,” said Tim Penny, president/CEO of Southern Minnesota Foundation, on behalf of the six regional community foundation leaders. “These young children are Greater Minnesota’s—and our nation’s—future. We need to continue to build on our progress and invest in this critical goal while exploring innovative strategies to grow our impact.”

Generous support from The McKnight Foundation beginning in 2003 served as a critical catalyst for the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations to launch a joint effort to have a deeper, broader effect on early childhood issues in Greater Minnesota. During the past 15 years, $15.8 million has been contributed by McKnight and jointly raised by the Minnesota Initiative Foundations to advance collaborative early care and education strategies throughout Greater Minnesota.

In addition, the individual Minnesota Initiative Foundations have leveraged millions of dollars more to help underwrite early childhood work in their respective regions. The six Foundations are recognized as important conduits in furthering early care and education statewide, and advocating on behalf of Greater Minnesota in St. Paul. Access to affordable, quality child care, an emphasis on literacy and school readiness, and programs to help young parents and caregivers support children’s social and emotional development are now seen as some of the best long-term investments that society can make.

The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations will continue to focus on early care and education in their respective regions and help ensure that young children and families remain at the forefront of community and legislative conversations. Additional detail on each set of strategies and contact information for Early Childhood Initiative staff are available at greaterminnesota.net/minnesota-early-childhood-initiative.



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