Minnesota’s Early Childhood Workforce Efforts

Minnesota has no shortage of attention and interest in early childhood issues.  This is a good thing but it can sometimes feel like there are so many groups and initiatives! 

ACCESS – ACCESS is an organization of faculty who teach early childhood education at Institutes of Higher Education that offer a 2-year or Associates degree in early childhood or a related field.

MnAECTE-  MnAECTE is an organization comprised primarily of faculty who teach early childhood education at Institutes of Higher Education that offer a 4-year or Bachelors degree in early childhood or a related field.  purpose of this organization is to promote the professional growth of its membership and to discuss the educational issues that are specific to its membership. It is also advocating for improvements in early childhood teacher education and early childhood education in Minnesota.

P3 Design Team + B8 Workforce Core Team-  The P3 Design Team was convened by the West Central Initiative, with support from the McKnight Foundation, in 2014.  The P3 Design Team is a broad group of early childhood stakeholders with a desire to improve outcomes for children and families.  The P3 Design Team serves as the Advisory Council for the B8 Workforce Core Team.  The B8 Workforce Core Team began meeting in September of 2016 as part of the National Academies work to transform the early childhood workforce.

National Governors Association Task Force on Compensation

Voices and Choices Coalition- The Voices and Choices for Children Coalition focuses on developing strongly engaged cultural communities of learning as well as an organizing and advocacy pipeline for their access, input, and impact around shaping early childhood policies for children of color and American indian children 0-8 years old throughout the state. The Voices and Choices for Children Coalition includes organizations, professionals and parents of color and American Indians engaged and working across early childhood sectors including government, philanthropy and non-profits.

 MN Education Equity Partnership- Minnesota Education Equity Partnership uses a race equity lens to transform educational institutions, organizations, and leaders to ensure that students of color and American Indian students achieve full academic and leadership success. The change that Minnesota Education Equity Partnership seeks is to have educators and policy makers challenge themselves to align schools, colleges and universities with the gifts that exist in students of color and American Indian students.

Coalition to increase teachers of color and American Indian teachers- The Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota unites individuals, organizations and communities concerned about the lack of racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity in the teaching force which is 96% white even though students of color and Native American students make up 30% of the K-12 population in MN and are the majority of students in many urban, suburban and rural schools. They believe in their experience and compelling research that proves racially and ethnically diverse teachers are important to the success and learning of ALL students, especially students of color and American Indian students.

Governors Early Learning Council- The goal of the council is to ensure that all children are school-ready by 2020. Council members make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature.

Early Childhood System Reform – This work is led by Dr. Tracey Roloff at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.  Dr. Roloff, together with Steering Committee representing various communities,  looked at synergies and opportunities for alignment and improvement across the Minnesota Departments of Human Services, Education and Health.  A report with recommendations came out June of 2018. Read the full report here.

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California at Berkeley, studies all things workforce in child care. Established in 1999, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) is focused on achieving comprehensive public investments that enable the early childhood workforce to deliver high-quality care and education for all children. To achieve this goal, CSCCE conducts research and policy analysis about the characteristics of those who care for and educate young children and examines policy solutions aimed at improving how our nation prepares, supports, and rewards these early educators to ensure young children’s optimal development. Minnesota State Profile Fact Sheet 2020

SEQUAL- SEQUAL (Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning) is a multi-purpose tool for examining and improving environments in which early childhood teaching staff work and learn. The SEQUAL assesses how well the workplace supports teaching staff to learn and to continue to develop their knowledge and skills on the job.  The Center for the Study of Child Care (see above) will be administering this tool to help Minnesota better understand the needs of early childhood center staff.  SEQUAL assesses five overarching domains of the workplace that support professional growth and high quality care and instruction.  These include: 1) Teaching Supports; 2) Learning Community; 3) Job Crafting; 4) Adult Well-being; and 5) Program Leadership.

Parent Aware Advisory Team – Updated Team Coming 2023

MnAEYC/NAEYC + Power to the Profession- Power to the Profession is a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards, and compensation. Building on guidelines, frameworks and standards that currently operate across programs, organizations and states, this initiative aims to establish a shared framework of career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards, and compensation that unifies the entire profession, which will lead to a comprehensive policy and financing strategy for their systemic adoption and implementation. 

Learn Together MN- . Since 2012, the four LearnTogetherMN grants partners received $92 million in federal funds to support a range initiatives aimed at finding effective approaches that improve educational outcomes for children in our community. Federal grants partners include: Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge, Human Capital Research Collaborative CPC Expansion, Northside Achievement Zone’s Promise Neighborhood and Greater Twin Cities United Way & Generation Next’s Social Innovation Fund. Greater Twin Cities United Way, in partnership with The McKnight Foundation, have launched this website, Learn Together MN, to keep our community connected with what’s happening around the federal education grants and to capture essential lessons for our region and the nation.

Office of Legislative auditor- Report on Early Childhood Programs – The Legislative Audit Commission directed the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor to study Minnesota’s early childhood programs and report back in February 2018.  The report will identify Minnesota’s early childhood programs;  look at how states agencies achieve their program objectives and how well they collaborate; identify duplication or augmentation of services and identify gaps in services around the state.