Join us on the playground as we explore Policies in Play!

Think Small believes that placing a priority on children and their families through access to high quality early childhood education is critical to closing Minnesota’s opportunity gap, thus eliminating the state’s achievement gap. Policy decisions that are in the best interest of children are in the best interest of communities and thus Minnesota’s future economic development.

The 2017 legislative session included several key changes to early care and education, including:

  • Early Learning Scholarships Policy and Funding Changes
  • Child Care Assistance Program Changes
  • Department of Economic Development Child Care Grants
  • Office of the Legislative Auditor Report (February 2018)

As a leader in early learning, Think Small is involved in the policy process in several ways. We educate lawmakers, mobilize stakeholders, and work with partners to advocate for children and families.

But what does that actually mean for programs and parents? What do these policies look like in action? Over the next few months, we’ll take a closer look.

We’ll share stories of people and programs across the state. And we’ll reach out to our partners to provide more context on what the changes mean for children and families in Minnesota.

Please check back for new content often, and share it with your friends and colleagues. Let’s keep the early childhood momentum going in Minnesota and spread the word about the work still left to do.

If you have a related story you’d like to share, please let us know! Send an email to

Policy in Play Blog Posts
Early Learning Scholarships Are Critical For Children in Child Protection
By Rich Gehrman, Founder and Executive Director of Safe Passage for Children  

The Triple Bottom Line of Child Care
By Cisa Keller, Senior Vice President of Early Childhood Quality Development 

West Central Minnesota Child Care Providers Benefit from Forgivable Loans
By Marie Huey, Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

Northeastern Minnesota Addresses Child Care Shortages
By Marie Huey, Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

Families First: Connecting Southern Minnesota Children with Early Learning Scholarships
By Jon Losness, Executive Director of Families First, and Sara Stebbins, Coordinator of Early Learning Scholarships at Families First

Children Experiencing Homelessness Benefit from Early Learning Scholarship Changes
By Marie Huey, Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

Child Care Assistance Program Changes
By Marie Huey, Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator