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Insights, Ideas, and Resources for Early Learning

Welcome to the ֱ Blog, your go-to destination for valuable insights, innovative ideas, and inspiring stories in the field of early learning. Dive into a treasure trove of articles crafted by our team of experts, dedicated to empowering child care providers, educators, and families.

Discover practical tips, evidence-based strategies, and the latest research findings to support children aged 0-5 on their journey to kindergarten readiness. From fostering social-emotional development to promoting cognitive skills, our blog covers a wide range of topics, ensuring you stay informed and equipped to make a positive impact on young lives.

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Creative Kids Academy

Update: As you will see from the video and photos below, we first met with Creative Kids to do this story on a warm September day. While the situation remains ...

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Snack Pack Delivery to ֱ Care ֱ

It’s always a pleasant surprise when healthy and money-saving treats show up on your doorstep. The ‘You Matter’ snack packs come from Health Fair 11, a non-profit dedicated to improving ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Buttons & Bows ֱ Care

By Marie Huey, Public Policy & Advocacy CoordinatorVideo by Kristie Thorson, Communications Specialist Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in high-quality child care and ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Lori's Story

Lori Williams started offering child care from her home when her son was about a year old. He’s 30 now. “I had planned to go back to work as an ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Erin's Story

Erin Echternach is back at the office now… her 14-month old son, Aiden is once again attending his much-loved family child care program. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing. “It ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Annie's Story

Annie Dunham is a Center Supervisor at Radiant Montessori, an early childhood program that typically provides care and education to more than 100 students in the Maple Grove area. Due ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Wendy's Story

“I’m exhausted. But I love my job and my families. I’m blessed to be an educator and care provider for the youngest Minnesotans.” Wendy Dewall used to have eight to ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Britney's Story

“I’m doing everything I can to ensure the families in my child care program have the financial stability they need right now and to keep everyone enrolled for the future.” ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Jean's Story

“I just ask that you realize we are essential business owners ALL the time, not just during the pandemic.” When Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued the stay-at-home order, Jean Mathison ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Jamie's Story

“I am happy that I am able to help out where I am needed. Although it may be a struggle, we will all get through it together.” Jamie Brown has ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Josalyn's Story

“The virus has thrown everything off so bad, and I’m worried that all the progress we’ve made with the kids will be gone, and that it’s going to be hard ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Irene's Story

“I wanted to remain available to all of my families so that even if they are working from home, they could have their children maintain routines, and the parents could ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Robyn's Story

“I love my job. I provide an important service to the community, but to be able to stay open much longer will be a challenge.  We need financial help desperately.” ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Hopkins Early Learning Center

“Invest in early childhood education and care, for it is now, and will continue to be, an essential service for communities and our economy.” Founded in 1981, Hopkins Early Learning ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Tammy's Story

“Do you close and risk losing families, or do you stay open and risk yourself and your own family’s health? ֱ care providers deserve a big pat on the back ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Elisa's Story

“The mental toll caused by the risk that an infection poses is a daily preoccupation.” With so many uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maria ‘Elisa’ Vega is worried about ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Rdella's Story

“I don’t think child care providers were taken very seriously before,” White said. “I think people are seeing how important we are, and the Governor sees that too.  We are ...

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From the Front Lines of ֱ Care: Shirley's Story

“Family child care is a small business that depends on parents bringing their children to survive. If we all close down, then there will be nowhere for children to get ...

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ֱ Care Provider Sanitizer & Bleach Give Away

Nearly 300 child care providers in the metro area picked up hand sanitizer & bleach beginning in April. The hard-to-find products were made available to child care programs at no ...

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Tell Your Early Learning Story: Why It's Important

By Kristie Thorson, Communications Specialist Whether you’re a family child care provider who wants to share a program success or a parent who is struggling to find high-quality care, your ...

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A Middle-Class Mom Looking for Help

By Viktoria Bjerke from Belle Plaine, Minnesota My name is Viktoria Bjerke. I am 24 years old, married, and I have two children, ages one and two. We are a ...

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ֱ Care Assistance Makes a Difference: Oliver's Story

By Kristie Thorson, Communications Specialist St. Paul mother Stephanie Henderson knows her son Oliver has benefited from high-quality early care and education.  “It was just so great for him,” said ...

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Early Education Spotlight - My Friends Christian ֱ Care and Preschool

By Marie Huey, Public Policy & Advocacy CoordinatorVideo by Kristie Thorson, Communications Specialist Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in high-quality child care and ...

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Keeping My Kids in High-Quality Care

By Kathy Benjamin from Moorhead, Minnesota I am a single parent of three children. All three were in daycare at one point.  I was already receiving child care assistance from ...

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ֱ Care Assistance Makes a Difference: Aaron's Story

Minnesota’s ֱ Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps make child care affordable for income-eligible families.  This can often be life-changing for children and parents, as it was for the Santamaria Mendez family. Four-year-old Aaron Santamaria ...

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Early Learning Scholarships Change Lives

“This opportunity wasn’t just good for her, and amazing for her, but it was also amazing for me. And if it’s amazing for me, it’s amazing for our little family.” ...

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Say Thanks to a ֱ Care Provider!

Happy ֱ Care Provider Appreciation Day! Today, we recognize the millions of child care providers across the nation who give their time, experience, concern, and skills to our littlest learners ...

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Early Learning Scholarships Help ֱren & Families

“Please continue funding programs such as early childhood scholarships.  It definitely makes a difference.  It allows kids to get that extra boost in the beginning so they stay on track ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Big Red House

Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in high-quality child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent perspectives on ...

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Early Education Spotlight: People Serving People

Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in high-quality child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent perspectives on ...

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Early Education Spotlight: The Teddy Bear House

Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in high-quality child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent perspectives on ...

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Early Sprouts: Growing Great Gardeners

By Kristie Thorson, Communications Specialist There is much more ‘being planted’ in this backyard then simple seeds and seedlings.  These Minnesota children, along with their family child care provider, are ...

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Early Education Spotlight - Here We Grow

By Marie Huey, Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator Video by Kristie Thorson, Communications Specialist Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in high-quality child care ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Stepping Stones ֱcare Learning Center, Inc

By: Marie Huey Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in high-quality child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Little Wonders Daycare

By Marie Huey, Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator Video by Kristie Thorson, Communications Specialist Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Little Angels ֱ Care

By: Marie Huey, Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Little World of Angels

By: Marie Huey, Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Daryeel Group Home Daycare

By: Marie Huey Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Bloom Early Learning and ֱ Care

By: Marie Huey Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Little Learners

By: Marie Huey Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Achcha's Daycare

By: Marie Huey Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work happening in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to parent ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Country Kids ֱcare

By: Marie Huey Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases great work going on in child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. From innovative early learning programs to ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Kris Larson's Family ֱ Care

By: Marie Huey Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases the great work happening in quality child care and preschool settings across Minnesota. Kris Larson’s Family ֱ Care ...

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Early Education Spotlight: Aldrich Memorial Nursery School

By: Marie Huey Early Education Spotlight is an ongoing series that showcases the great work happening in high-quality early learning settings across Minnesota. The first installment features Aldrich Memorial Nursery School and ...

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White Earth's Story: Building an Early Learning Landscape for Kids and Families

Fifteen years ago, families in White Earth, Minnesota didn’t have access to early learning programs. Families were lucky to get a spot in a Head Start program, one of the ...

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