Executive Director Laura Tompkins
The MinneMinds coalition has partners across the state that embrace key values, provide innovation, and take child-centered approaches that provide meaningful and long-lasting positive benefits for Minnesota’s children and families. These programs are leading the way in providing high-quality early childhood care and education.
MinneMinds knows that high-quality early childhood care and education improves outcomes, and key partners like Joyce Preschool, a Spanish-immersion school, are making this happen for children and families every day. Their high-quality, research-driven and culturally relevant programming have delivered consistent results for children and parents alike. In a city where only 36% of Spanish-speaking students are kindergarten-ready, 100% of Joyce’s graduates in the past six years have been ready for kindergarten.
Joyce is a 4-star Parent-Aware rated, bilingual, multicultural preschool that provides culturally relevant programming for its students and is rooted in equity. In Minneapolis, 41% of Hispanic children live in poverty, which can contribute to obesity, food insecurity, and toxic stress — all of which affect a child’s ability to succeed in school. At Joyce, children are in a nurturing environment that meets each of their unique needs and provides necessary support.
Joyce’s takes a multigenerational approach with a simple perspective: “to give children their best opportunities, we don’t just enroll preschoolers, but work in partnership with families. At-home circumstances affect in-school success, so classroom time isn’t enough on its own: we emphasize empowering, educating, and involving our families.” At Joyce, 100% of parents are directly involved in their student’s education.
Access to high-quality early childhood care and education is critical to a child’s life, but too often is out of reach for low-income families. At Joyce, 25% of students receive state early learning scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition, including transportation costs. Thanks to this support, families and parents who may not be able to afford high-quality early education are able to, which can provide much-needed stability. With increased investment in state early learning scholarships, even more families could benefit.
The best outcomes for children and families come when they are given the environment to succeed, and provided the support they need. By increasing access to high-quality early childhood care and education, like the programs offered at Joyce Preschool, Minnesota’s most vulnerable children and families can be given the tools to succeed now and in the future.