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Publicly funded programs

The Risk, Reach, and Resilience project reports on the reach of services for children and families enrolled in the following eleven publicly-funded programs.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federal program that provides low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and infants and children through the month of their 5th birthday with nutrient-rich foods, health care and social service referrals, and nutrition counseling and education. Eligible families have incomes at or below 185 percent of federal poverty levels or are Medicaid eligible.

Family Home Visiting Program

The Family Home Visiting Program is a voluntary, home-based service administered by local public health agencies (counties, cities, or tribal governments). The program works with families at or below 200 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.

Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

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.

Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

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 Minnesota Family Investment Program (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.

Mental health treatment within Minnesota Health Care Programs

MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance are state-subsidized health care programs for low-income families. The project looks at children enrolled in these two programs who were assessed and treated for mental health issues.

Early childhood screening

Early Childhood Screening (ECS) evaluates young children's hearing, vision, immunizations, coordination, speech, and cognitive development, as well as social and emotional skills. 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.

Early Head Start and Head Start enrollment

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. For children age 6 weeks to 5 years, options include home visits and full-day, half-day, therapeutic, and inclusion center-based classrooms.

Enrollment in early intervention and early childhood special education services

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a national law ensuring that early intervention, special education, and related services are provided to children with disabilities. 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 with developmental delays or other disabilities and who are experiencing challenges in their learning and development from age 3 until they begin kindergarten 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.

Early Childhood Family Education

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), offered by school districts, provides parenting education and support to expectant parents and parents with children from birth through age 4 to support children's learning and development.

School Readiness Program

School Readiness is a public school early childhood education program open to children from age 3 to enrollment in kindergarten. The goal of the program is to help preschoolers gain skills and behaviors for school success. The program is free for children with one of six risk factors, such as qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch, being an English language learner, or having a potential risk factor that may influence learning.

Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten

School districts and charter schools apply to the Minnesota Department of Education to offer Voluntary Prekindergarten, which uses instruction and curriculum aligned with Minnesota's early learning standards to prepare 4-year-olds for kindergarten


Risk, Reach, and Resilience report references

Sponsored By

The 2018 Minnesota Early Childhood Risk, Reach, and Resilience report was produced by a partnership of Wilder Research; Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota; and the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services, supported by a grant from the Irving Harris Foundation to the University of Minnesota


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