West Central Blogger

Friday, October 12, 2007

Children thrive when communities make early care and education a priority, report says

It really does take a village to raise a child. A new report released by the Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs)—including West Central Initiative—shows that when communities come together around early childhood issues, it can have a tremendous impact on making sure all children thrive.

Building Nurturing Communities of Thriving Children” was produced by Wilder Research on behalf of the MIFs to determine the success of The Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative (ECI). The ECI is made up of individuals and organizations from around the state that have formed 64 early childhood coalitions. These groups work with 165 greater Minnesota communities and have implemented more than 400 projects, programs and activities to improve the well-being of young children.

“This report shows how these diverse coalition projects are contributing in measurable ways to the healthy development and school readiness of young children, and it connects these efforts to research and evidence-based practices,” said Nancy Jost, West Central Initiative’s Early Childhood Initiative coordinator. “Often, school readiness is simply measured by whether or not a child knows the ABCs and 123s, but it’s so much more than that.”

The report highlights some of ECI’s success stories, including west central Minnesota’s Early Childhood Dental Network, which is improving oral health awareness, education and dental access throughout the region.

To learn more about the Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative or to receive a copy of the report, “Building Nurturing Communities of Thriving Children,” please call West Central Initiative at (800) 735-2239; or view the report online.

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