There is much to mourn over recent weeks, with terrible acts of violence in Louisiana, Texas, and our very own home Minnesota. Current events expose great rifts in our communities, including many communities we work with every day. Think Small wants the families, children and communities we serve to know that we stand with them during this extremely difficult time.

No one, regardless of the color of their skin or where they work, should live with the violence, hardships, or challenges we see flashed across our TV screens at night and in news reports in the morning. A traumatic event, such as watching your father being killed in front of you, can change the trajectory of a child’s whole life. And events like this have long lasting effects on families and communities.

As leaders in early learning, Think Small recognizes the correlation between violence in our communities and the racial and economic disparities that occur as young as 18 months-old among children. At Think Small, we are working toward breaking down the walls of disparities and improving access and opportunities for families and young children. It is good to remember that whenever we are working with early care professionals toward increasing quality, or working with families to help them get access to high quality care, these tragic events are daily experiences for some families.

Of the utmost concern is the impact recent events, and daily experiences, have on young children, especially children experiencing traumatic events. Because Think Small has a strong commitment to caring about the impact these recent traumatic events may have on young children, we wanted to share some available resources to assist during these difficult times.

How we treat children, including how society treats children, matters immensely, and how we respond to difficult challenges will leave lasting impressions on who they may or may not become. We urge everyone to stand with us to support all families who may be struggling with dealing with traumatic events by providing resources, being present and allowing space for families, child(ren) and caregivers to grieve while at the same time helping them to advocate for what they need during this time.

It is beyond time that we recognize and improve the immense inequality issues facing our state. Inequalities amongst young children, who are forming the foundation of their future, are of the utmost concern. Access and opportunity to attend quality early care and learning programs is paramount for families and children facing the steepest disparities.

We must do better. The status quo is not an acceptable option. Think Small’s mission to advance quality care and education of children in their early years requires us to remember to never give up on the children, regardless of how hard it can get.