We envision a community that affords every child the best start in life.
That’s why we’re actively engaged—through policy development, advocacy, evaluation, and program piloting—in creating a Minnesota that supports optimal child care and early learning. For policymakers, funders, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and others concerned with kids, we’re a bold and effective partner. For educators and families, we provide advocacy trainings and resources to get informed and involved. We invite you to work together with us on community and state-wide issues involving early childhood.
Public Policy Priorities
Think Small is uniquely positioned to advocate for improvements to Minnesota’s early care and education system. Our direct work with child care educators keeps us in tune with what’s happening in the classroom. Our interactions with state agencies allow us to see current realities and opportunities for improvement.
Our solutions center children. We aim to ensure all children birth to five have access to quality early childhood care and education, starting with those facing the greatest barriers. The single best investment the state can make is targeted early childhood investments in our most vulnerable children.
Early Care and Education Crisis Work Group
The Early Care and Education Crisis Work Group is a group of experts working to address the dual challenges of Minnesota’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gap and the child care shortage. Think Small co-convenes the Crisis Work Group with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
Early Care and Education Crisis Work Group Reports
- 2023 Legislative Priorities
- 2022 Legislative Priorities
- 2021 Recommendations for Investing American Rescue Plan Funds
- 2021 Legislative Priorities
- 2020 Emergency Policy Recommendations—Full Report
- 2020 Emergency Policy Recommendations—Summary
- 2020 Legislative Priorities
- 2018 Administrative Fixes Memo to Governor-elect Walz
- Local Approaches to Addressing Crises
- Roadmap Summary
- 2018 Full Report
Minnesota Business for Early Learning
Minnesota Business for Early Learning is a roundtable of Minnesota business leaders advocating for Early Learning Scholarships for Minnesota’s 31,000 low-income children who can’t access high quality early learning programs.
Are you passionate about supporting young children and their families? Share your knowledge and perspective with policymakers.
Todd Otis Public Policy Internship
The Todd Otis Public Policy Internship is a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about Minnesota’s early learning policy and advocacy landscape. Think Small started the Todd Otis Public Policy Internship to recognize Todd’s contributions and build on his legacy. Interns work with our Policy Team and partners during the state legislative session. Our goal is to create more early learning advocates to continue Todd’s work.
This internship runs during the state legislative session (January-May). Applications open up in late Fall.
Learn more about Todd Otis and past interns.
Long Story Short
Stories are powerful.
They are relevant, authentic, and come from the heart. Good stories about what’s happening with child care and early learning in Minnesota can help us advocate for supportive policies and raise awareness about important early learning issues. This space was created to give child care providers a place to share stories about their work on behalf of young children, and to give families an opportunity to share their child care successes and challenges with the community.
Think Small is committed to supporting advocates in their efforts to champion early childhood education. Our organization provides a range of resources designed to equip advocates with the knowledge and tools necessary to make a difference. Think Small is here to empower and amplify your advocacy efforts for the benefit of all children.