Risk and Reach reports on the reach of services for children and families enrolled in the following eight publicly-funded programs.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
The Family Home Visiting Program works with families at or below 185 percent of federal poverty guidelines who are experiencing a variety of risk factors, including poverty, history of alcohol or other drug use, history of violence or at risk for child abuse or neglect, or adolescent parents. The home visits begin prenatally when possible. Initial assessments are carried out by a public health nurse. Ongoing visits are provided by public health nurses and/or trained home visitors. Risk and Reach reports on The Family Home Visiting Program implemented at the local level by local public health departments and tribal governments provided through TANF funding and does not include family home visiting programs offered by other public and private nonprofit agencies.
MFIP supports low-income families with children and aims to help those families move toward financial stability through work. Parents are supported through cash and food assistance, as well as employment services. MFIP is calculated as the percentage of all children under age 6 in families with incomes at or below 125 percent of the poverty level. It is the state’s version of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
CCAP helps parents attain and retain employment and education, and pay for safe, stimulating, and developmentally appropriate child care. CCAP is available to families participating in MFIP, families that had an MFIP case close within the last 12 months, and low-income families that may be eligible for the Basic Sliding Fee program. However, receipt of child care subsidies and continuity of care depend upon parental work schedules, and continuity of care may be disrupted if parents do not comply with requirements.
MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance are state-subsidized health care programs for low-income families. Risk and Reach looks at children enrolled in these two programs who were assessed and treated for mental health issues.
Early Childhood Screening is offered throughout the year by local school districts and Head Start, the Child and Teen Checkups program, and health care providers. Screening is required by state law within 30 days of enrollment in kindergarten and recommended prior to kindergarten.
Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development, health, and social service programs for families with poverty-level incomes, children with special needs, or children with negative family circumstances such as homelessness. Early Head Start offers home-based services beginning prenatally to nurture child development and parenting skills. Options include home visits and full-day, half-day, therapeutic, and inclusion center-based classrooms.
Early intervention services and supports are available in “natural environments” for families and their children age 2 and younger with developmental delays or with certain diagnosed physical or mental disabilities, conditions, or disorders. These include children with low birth weight and children with hearing or vision impairment. Children age 3 until they begin kindergarten with developmental delays or other disabilities and who are experiencing challenges in their learning and development can receive special education services in their home, child care setting, or school, whichever is the least restrictive environment. The data presented here are limited to pre-kindergarten children and reflect county location of the programs’ district office rather than child’s residence.
Minnesota Early Childhood Risk and Reach was developed by the University of Minnesota (Harris Training Programs in the Center for Early Education and Development) and Wilder Research in partnership with the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services.