A great way to stay connected with early childhood policy is by making sure you’re signed up to newsletters from organizations and projects you care about. It can also keep you in the loop about new initiatives that affect your work.  

These newsletters sometimes include opportunities to give feedback on projects that are underway. Participating in these opportunities is a form of administrative advocacy. After laws are passed, they have to be implemented. The details of implementation can make a big difference, and administrative advocacy helps shape the process. Once you sign up, keep your eyes open for ways to get involved, and be sure to share with others who are interested!  

If you’re not already signed up for Think Small Policy and Advocacy Updates, sign up today! We send out communications weekly during legislative session and every other week during the interim to help keep you in the loop.  

Cross-Agency and Big Picture 

These newsletters cover a big swath of the work going on in early childhood in state government.   

Early Childhood Connector 
If you’re only going to sign up for one state newsletter, this is the one! This communication is a cross-agency effort to provide updates to child care providers and early educators in Minnesota. By signing up, you can expect to receive a quarterly newsletter highlighting resources, supports and updates on child care and early education from the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet and Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services. Content will be tailored to licensed and nonlicensed child care, Head Start, and prekindergarten programs.  

Department of Children, Youth, and Families  
The Department of Children, Youth, and Families is a new agency that will be created over the next couple years. Sign up to follow along with the process. 

Minnesota Children’s Cabinet 
Minnesota’s Children’s Cabinet is an interagency partnership that utilizes a whole family approach to support the healthy development of children and families. The work of the Cabinet also involves collaboration with counties, local communities and other stakeholders. The Children’s Cabinet works to bring efficiency and effectiveness to state government efforts to improve child and youth outcomes.  

Office of the Ombuds for Family Child Care Providers
The Ombudsperson supports and advocates for licensed family child care needs in Minnesota. This office is separate and independent from the Department of Human Services.

Projects Underway 

These newsletters will keep you updated on initiatives currently in progress.  

Preschool Development Grant 
Minnesota’s Preschool Development Birth through Five grant is a partnership of the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, along with the Children’s Cabinet to align education and care systems across the state.  

Parent Aware Redesign 
The Department of Human Services is gathering input and data as part of a project to implement recommendations to improve Parent Aware. 

Child Care Regulation Modernization Projects 
The regulation modernization projects support the development of three components:  

  • Key indicator systems for abbreviated inspections 
  • Risk-based tiered violation systems 
  • Revised licensing standards 

If you would like to receive updates on the Child Care Regulation Modernization projects, please subscribe to the listserv for Family Child Care Regulation Modernization or the listserv for Child Care Center Regulation Modernization. 

Child Care Provider Hub 
As part of their work on child care systems transformation, the Minnesota Department of Human Services is working on a Provider Hub. This initiative will help improve and integrate the information technology systems used for the licensing, certification, and Child Care Assistance Program registration of child care providers in Minnesota. 

Department Lists 

Use the subscriber preferences features for the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and/or the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to select additional projects or topics that interest you.  

MDE Subscriber Preferences 
Check out the Early Learning section for relevant topics and initiatives.

DHS Subscriber Preferences
The licensing section includes projects mentioned above and some other issue areas.

There are early childhood policies and projects in progress at other state agencies as well. If you find a project that interests you and want to learn more, be sure to look for an email signup

By Marie Huey, Public Policy and Advocacy Staff Leader