Overview

Goal: All young children throughout Minnesota enter school ready to learn.

In order to retain our state's competitive edge in the global marketplace, and to maintain our high quality of life here at home, we need to invest in our children. Arguably the most crucial for a child's development, the early years will set the stage for future challenge or success. Children raised in a loving, stable environment that provides positive stimulation, and who receive early screening and intervention for health or developmental problems, enter school ready to do their best. Investment in those important early years will pay back over a child's entire lifetime.

What's happening

Birth weight and early screening for potential learning and health concerns are two important measures for determining a child’s long-term health and success:

  • During 2014, 1 in 20 babies (single births) born in Minnesota was born at low birth weight. Babies born in Koochiching or Norman County were most likely to have a low birth weight, while those born in Big Stone, Kittson, or Stevens County were least likely.
  • Early childhood screening is required for kindergarten entrance, but screening at age 3 or 4 provides more benefit to children and the schools who will receive them. Efforts to screen children at a younger age are improving: 4 out of 5 of the children screened across the state in 2014 were under age 5.

Making connections

Good health gives children the best chance to enter school ready to learn and to be productive throughout their lives. Success or challenges early in life may lay the foundation for the child's experiences in K-12 education and beyond. An investment in our young children is an investment in the future economy and workforce of our state.

Insights

Minnesota's Risk and Reach project takes a county by county look at potential risks to the healthy development of young children and the reach of public services to address areas of need. Project directors Elizabeth Carlson, University of Minnesota, and Richard Chase, Wilder Research, explain why it matters and suggest ways you might use this information.

Minnesota Compass

Minnesota Compass
www.mncompass.org
Led by Wilder Research

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