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Risk, Reach, and Resilience:
Key Indicators of Early Childhood Development in Minnesota, County by County

Overview

The Risk, Reach, and Resilience project, which updates a 2015 version, provides county-level data on 12 economic, family stability, and health measures of potential risks to the well-being of young children. The project also identifies the extent of coverage in each county of 11 publicly funded programs serving the early learning, health, and basic needs of young children. Learn more about the project.

Researchers across disciplines and specialties agree that the physical, social, and economic health and well-being of adults are strongly influenced by both positive and negative experiences in early childhood. The most cost-efficient time to build foundational skills, to assure the healthy development of all young children, to break the cycle of disadvantage for vulnerable children, and to prevent achievement and health inequities is in the very early stages of development.

The goal of the Risk and Reach project is to provide a resource for all early childhood stakeholders to guide and inform resource allocation and policy.

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. See the full report.

Identifying Risk, Reach, and Resilience

Every county is assigned to one of four risk categories for each risk measure (low, low-to-moderate, moderate-to-high, or high), and is given a composite risk score based on an average score across all measures. Every county also is assigned a reach category (low, low-to-moderate, moderate-to-high, high) for each program based on the proportion of eligible children receiving that service. The reach of services is overlaid on a map of Minnesota showing each county's composite risk score, allowing comparison of the potential need for services with their coverage.

Learn more about methodology.

Key findings

No single risk factor determines a child's developmental trajectory. Rather, cumulative risk has been found to be the most predictive of adverse outcomes in childhood and across the lifespan. There is no threshold at which intervention is futile. The study found:

  • Nearly 199,000 children in Minnesota live in moderate-to-high -risk counties, representing 47 percent of all children age 5 and younger in Minnesota.
  • About 18,500 children live in 11 high-risk counties. The counties with the most indicators at high risk levels are Beltrami, Mahnomen, Cass, Pine, Mille Lacs, and Nobles. 
  • About 131,000 children live in 14 counties categorized low risk. The counties with the most indicators at low risk levels are Carver, Washington, Scott, Wright, Morrison, and Nicollet.
  • The reach of publicly funded early childhood programs in Minnesota varies by county and ranges from about 5 percent to about 60 percent of eligible children.

More key findings

See how your county of interest is faring

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View risk measures and the reach of services for a specific county. Browse all counties or select below.

 

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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