By 2020, every child in Minnesota needs to be ready for kindergarten. This lofty, yet achievable goal is universally shared by members of the philanthropic and business communities, public policy makers and other early childhood education advocates.

To successfully achieve this goal, Minnesota needs a comprehensive approach to early childhood care and education that establishes accountability for measurable and sustained progress. Such an approach must address three key elements to be successful: leadership, accountability and funding.

Currently, Minnesota’s early childhood education system is fragmented and not-well-coordinated. Parents are the primary teacher and educator for their children, but they face numerous obstacles in obtaining access to affordable, as well as quality, early childhood care and education. By redesigning and building a stronger, more coordinated system, it will become easier to identify and address the critical needs of children, beginning with those most in need of early childhood education.

The Start Early Funders Coalition’s recommendations for improving early childhood care and education build on the significant work has been undertaken by policy makers, the business and philanthropic communities, advocacy organizations and other nonprofits to address the issue of early childhood education in Minnesota.

If fully implemented, these recommendations would ensure substantively brighter future for Minnesota’s youngest citizens.