Community Partnerships

Minnesota's next governor should create community partnerships to coordinate and leverage investments in children’s and families’ success

VISION: Building on their unique assets, communities throughout Minnesota will develop community partnerships to provide a family-friendly system of services and supports to children and families. The state will set outcome goals and provide grants to assist communities in developing partnerships that achieve results aligned with statewide goals.

WHAT: Early childhood community partnerships help coordinate the complex delivery system of services for families with young children. Partnerships help local communities communicate, coordinate, and collaborate to deliver services that families and children need. They involve multiple stakeholders— parents, schools, Head Start, child care, county services, unions, business, and non-profits— and recognize that children’s success is dependent on a family’s and children’s overall well-being. Coordinated services include family supports, special needs intervention, and health and mental health care in addition to quality early learning.

WHY: Communities are unique in their racial, cultural and language makeup, with young children leading the way in diversity, and communities know best what families and children need to succeed. Partnerships are an effective mechanism that allows communities to build on their strengths to address the distinctive needs of the families and children in their community.

CURRENT SITUATION: While we now have a greater appreciation of the importance of the early years, we currently do not have an effective system of early learning services and supports that adequately addresses the needs of our youngest citizens. The delivery system of services for families with young children is often disjointed and uncoordinated.

IT’S A GOOD INVESTMENT: Funding to support community partnerships allows communities to streamline services, more effectively share and utilize limited resources, and build public awareness of the importance of the early years. State support for community partnerships offers an important policy lever to create and unify the early childhood system.