A group of high ranking military generals residing in Minnesota sent a letter to legislators encouraging them to invest in Parent Aware, Minnesota’s quality rating system for all early learning programs. Their letter states:
“It is critical that the financial investment made by Minnesota taxpayers in early learning programs is being spent wisely. When the Department of Defense created its own early learning centers to serve military families, it made a commitment to quality, and Minnesota’s civilian taxpayers should expect no less. As you finalize your FY17 spending priorities, we urge you to prioritize a $15 million investment in the Parent Aware Program.”
The group of nine generals are a part of Mission Readiness: Minnesota, a nonpartisan national security organization made up of retired generals.
Parent Aware is a crucial pillar to Minnesota’s early learning system. It measures all types of early care and education programs – those based in centers, homes, churches, non-profits and schools – along the same yard stick.
Here’s what you need to know about Parent Aware:
- A recent evaluation solidified the importance of Parent Aware, showing that children in Parent Aware rated programs are getting ready for kindergarten. Minnesota children in public and private Parent Aware-rated programs based in centers, homes and schools are making significant gains on language and literacy skills, early math skills, persistence, social skills, and mental organization or “executive function” — all critically important to success in kindergarten and beyond.
- Parent Aware is currently in urgent need, because the temporary federal funding that got Parent Aware off-the-ground soon will be ending. If Parent Aware is to remain strong, the state needs to step up.
- Investing $15 million in Parent Aware will bring best practices to an additional 36,000 Minnesota children, year after year. That will add to the 83,000 Minnesota kids who already are benefiting every year from Parent Aware-facilitated best practices. Over the years, the investment in Parent Aware will help hundreds of thousands of Minnesota children benefit from best practices.
The generals’ support is one more example of the many allies coming together to support this important program. High quality early learning programs, starting from birth, are crucial not only for children and families, but for our communities as well.