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The ECCE: Investing in the Future

Start Early Funders Coalition: For Children and
Minnesota’s Future

The Start Early Funders Coalition believes every child in Minnesota should be physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively prepared for school and lifelong success.

It is undisputed that children who receive good care and quality early education are more likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn and dramatically do better for the rest of their lives. Whether measured in school completions or income potential, significant research illustrates the impact of quality early childhood care and education on not only individual children but the overall success of the state.

The Start Early Funders Coalition provides critical leadership and funding for research, program development, public policy and grant making to improve early childhood efforts in Minnesota and ensure children and families thrive.


Welcome from Denise Mayotte of The Sheltering Arms Foundation and Frank Forsberg of Greater Twin Cities United Way and Remarks by Governor Mark Dayton.

Panel discussion featuring Minnesota’s Children’s Cabinet with Commissioner of Education Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger and Commissioner of Human Services Lucinda Jesson. Moderated by Melvin Carter, Director of the Office of Early Learning.

Presentation and panel discussion featuring members of the Minnesota Youth Council and Kari Denissen Cunnien, Executive Director of Ignite Afterschool. Moderated by Eyenga Bokamba, Executive Director of Sprockets.

Presentation and panel discussion on legislative efforts regarding children and youth with Joan Brandt from the Targeted Home Visiting Coalition, Barbara Milon from the MinneMinds Coalition, Peggy Flanagan from Children’s Defense Fund and Liz Kuoppala from the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless

A bipartisan group of legislators discuss their commitment to Minnesota’s children and Youth, featuring Senators Melisa Franzen and Branden Petersen and Representatives Ron Kresha and Ryan Winkler.

Closing remarks and a call to action from Becky Roloff, President and CEO of YWCA Minneapolis.


Learn more about the Start Early Funders Coalition’s work in Minnesota: “Into the Fray: How a Funders Coalition Restored Momentum for Early Learning in Minnesota

Additional Resources

Coalition Overview

Policy Agenda

Policy Agenda Timeline


Start Early is a proud supporter
of MinneMinds.

Learn more about our policy agenda at


Recent Events:

Children and Youth Issues Briefing
January, 23 2015

2014 Child and Youth Issues Briefing January 9, 2014

Children & Homelessness Convening
June 17, 2013


Upcoming Events:



  -  Homelessness and Young
     Children Presentation (PPT)

  -  Presenters and Panelists
     Biographies (DOC)

  -  McKnight Foundation -
     Pathway Schools Initiative (PDF)

  -  MDE-P3 System for Success (PDF)

  -  Midwest Child-Parent
     Center (PDF)

  -  Minnesota PreK-3rd
     Alignment Landscape (PDF)

  -  Nancy Latimer Deck (PPT)

  -  Nancy Latimer
     participant biographies (PDF)

  -  Pre-K to Grade 3 -
     Mcgregor ISD #4 (PDF)

  -  White Earth Early Childhood
     Program Services (PDF)

  -  Children and Youth Issues
     Briefing Presentation (PPT)

  -  Children and Youth Issues
     Presenters & Panelists (PDF)