Prenatal to Three July 2018 Conference

Welcome to the Prenatal to Three Policy Forum at the University of St Thomas

My name is Katherine Hill I am faculty here at the School of Social Work, and I've been told my job today is to keep us all on time, so wish me luck In an effort to keep us all on time, we are going to go ahead and get started and I'm going to introduce Corrine Carvalho, who is the interim dean of the School of Social Work Who is short So, I am here to welcome all of you to our campus again today

We are so pleased to host this forum three times a year, and we are also so pleased to be working with our state representatives and senators So, first, for co-hosting, Representative Dave Pinto and Senator Jerry Relph, as well as the Elders for Infants group, and then also, we have as one of our guest speakers later, Senator Melissa Wiklund, so we are pleased to have all of them here as well I want to also call out Katherine Hill She does all the work I get to say welcome and look like I did something, and I didn't

So, thank you again to Katherine for her work on this forum I hope you enjoy the morning Thank you A little bit taller, here we go So, State Representative, Dave Pinto

So, welcome to everyone I want to just sort of make sure we're aware of the process of putting this agenda together for today and sort of where we're at These policy forums have been going for two years now We started in the summer of 2016, with Elders for Infants I put that together with them

Over time, we gained Senator Jerry Relph as a partner and School of Social Work It's AKA's St Thomas This feels like a really nice inflection point, and sort of a check point for us all on this work You kind of see that reflected in the agenda

There are two reports, two efforts that reached a conclusion in the last couple of months, I mean that ongoing other ways, and we're going to hear about them first There's a report from the Office of Legislative Auditor on early childhood programs, we're going to hear about that, and then there's been an inter-agency effort including a number of groups, a number of partners outside the government as well in this early childhood systems reform project So, those are sort of these efforts that kind of set up where are we as a state when it comes to prenatal to three in early childhood We're going to get a bit of a response as you'll see at the 10:00 AM slot from from agencies regarding the early report at least Then, the Q and A there is an opportunity just to talk about that work that's been done and where we're at

After the break then, we start moving into some efforts that are involved in looking forward There is a prenatal to three policy initiative that involves a number of groups, you're going to hear about that, and then of course, we know this is an important inflection point because in just a few months, we're going to have a new administration coming in, and then the question is, what does that say about our work in early childhood? So, we'll hear about the transition planning for that Then going back and stepping back real broadly, having our partners, elders for instance talk about the historical context I'm setting this up more, this forum than I have in past forums just so we understand that this agenda really is an opportunity for us all to kind of say, ''Okay, there'll be a lot of changes coming the next couple of months whether we like it or not in this space, and what can we be doing together to make sure that we build a Minnesota that works for every single young child because we know that that means it's going to work for every single one of us" So, thanks again for being here and we'll continue to check in

I'm going to turn now to my partner in this work in the legislature, Senator Relph, and then to move onto the rest of the agenda Thanks Well good morning I want to thank you all for coming It's just so vitally important that we keep this momentum that I think we've created

I'm glad to welcome the initiative that's going to be talking with us here after the break I attended one of their planning meetings last week and there's some good things happening there I think one of the things to keep in mind is, as we go forward through the transition in terms of administrations that we have a common goal that we can continue to carry forward, and I think that's why this forum is extremely important The report of the Legislative Auditor I think is important It does highlight some of the things that are near and dear to my heart and that is in the data sharing and in the area of accountability and creating standards by which we can measure the failure or success of programs and then trying to go forward and evaluate those, so that work fits right in with what I think many of the recommendations we find in the OLA report

So, just with that, a welcome here and enjoy the morning, and thank you more for coming Okay So, we are going to start things off with the ones that are under action No, that's me again, there I am Okay, we're going to skip me

You've already gotten to know me I am going to introduce Jody Hauer, who is here from the Office of the Legislative Auditor The Office of the Legislative Auditor is a professional nonpartisan audit and evaluation office within the legislative branch of Minnesota State Government OLA's goal is to provide the legislature, agencies, and the public with audit and evaluation reports that are accurate, objective, timely, and useful So, I'm going to invite Jody on up here

Good morning, everyone I'm very pleased to be here to describe to you the main findings and recommendations from our report on early childhood programs You all should have a four-page summary of the report at your tables There are also a few limited copies, hard copies of the report appear if anyone hasn't yet had one, and we welcome any inquiry at our office for either the online version or a hard copy So, by way of background, you have to know that Minnesota has numerous programs for children who are young and for their families

At one count, more than 40 such programs In our evaluation, we looked at nine, and those nine programs fall pretty neatly into two main groups I'm going to describe those here The first group contains six programs These are programs that provide direct services to the children

So they're interacting with the kids The six are Early Childhood Family Education, which focuses, as you probably well know, on parenting education, most typically in classrooms where the parent and the child are there together The Health and Developmental Screening Program, which screens young children for vision, hearing, vocabulary, speech development, and a number of other features Family Home Visiting Program that often starts with visits to pregnant women and continues on through the early ages of the child Head Start and Early Head Start, federal programs obviously that promote school readiness for young children

Minnesota's School Readiness Program, which is targeted at children from three up to age five to prepare them for kindergarten Then finally, the sixth program, Minnesota's Voluntary Prekindergarten Program, which focuses on preparing four-year-olds for kindergarten the following year Now that's the first group So, on the second group of programs that we looked at are those that provide financial help to parents that need it so that their children can attend some of these programs One of those two is the Child Care Assistance Program

It offers financial help to low income parents to help pay the costs of childcare It's for parents who are either working or looking for work or they're in an educational or training program that will lead them to work The second of the two programs is the Early Learning Scholarships program This is a program again that helps low income parents, help pay for their children to attend certain childcare, qualified childcare, or qualified early education programs Now there are two ways to access the scholarship

I'm going to just mention them briefly here in what's known as Pathway I Those scholarships are attained by the child and the child's family They are used to go to qualified programs If the family decides to move, they can still use that scholarship at whatever qualified provider are in the area where they live In Pathway II, some of that money actually goes to some of the qualified programs themselves, which in turn award the scholarships to the children who are either already registered or on a waiting list to become part of their program

Then the ninth and final program that we reviewed as a part of our evaluation is the Parent Aware Quality Rating and Improvement System Parent Aware rates the child care providers and the early learning providers based on preset criteria, which I won't go into today But this is an important program because participating in Parent Aware qualifies the providers to accept those scholarships, I mentioned a moment ago, and to receive higher reimbursement rates through the Childcare Assistance Program So, now, I'm going to turn to our findings We concluded first that variation among the early childhood programs created a system that is complex and fragmented, and part of that is due to the differences in eligibility requirements among the various programs

Part of it is due to variation in the program requirements and variation in the funding requirements for these programs I'm going to turn first to differences in eligibility On this slide, you see a chart that shows for a family of four in 2017, what's the income limits were for various programs, and you see on the left-hand side that the limit was $24,600 for Head Start all the way up to more than $64,000 for use of the child care assistance program at least one sub-program of it I'll also point out that the School Readiness Program, the one second in from the left That has two numbers associated with it

That's because the lower of the two is the income eligibility for families that qualify for free lunch at school The higher the two numbers, the $45,000 figure refers to those who qualify for the reduced price lunch program Another area where there are differences among the programs isn't staffing requirements, and I'm going to talk about just a few of them today but I'm going to highlight the ones that I think are most important So, here, let me draw your attention to the third row on this particular chart called staffing requirement, and you see here, if you follow that across, there's just one check mark under the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program column, and that indicates that only Voluntary Prekindergarten is a program that has in law a requirement related to the salaries of those who teach in that program, and this requirement is that districts who have Voluntary Prekindergarten must pay those teachers in the program similar salaries of those that are comparable to the salaries paid to other K-12 instructors in that school district Regarding licensure of staff, we see a real mixed of requirements

The fourth row on this particular slide shows that statutes who acquire licenses for instructors if they are teaching in either the Early Childhood Family Education program or in the new School Readiness plus program But teachers are not required to be licensed if they are teaching in either of the other two programs Then the final row shows licensure requirements for program supervisors You see here is that if a person is supervising an ECFE, early childhood education program, or the School Readiness Program, they must be licensed However, if they are supervising either School Readiness Plus or Voluntary Prekindergarten Program, licensure is not required

It's important for you to know that each of the early childhood programs has its own funding stream, and different requirements relate to the different funding streams, some of which I'm going to cover on this slide So, on this table, the first row here shows that providers have two programs So, the Pathway II of the Scholarship Program and Voluntary Prekindergarten Program, they have to compete for the fundings that they receive This means that if they want this funding, they have to apply to the Department of Education and it's the department who will determine who is going to receive what funding based on how well those applicants are meeting legal requirements The second row on this table shows that two programs, the Early Childhood Family Education and the School Readiness Program, they have authority for charging user fees to the participants, the other programs do not

Now, Voluntary Prekindergarten programs are generally prohibited from charging user fees, but there is an exception to this prohibition Now, Voluntary Prekindergarten is one of those two programs that has to apply to the department for funding So, if they receive funding for, let's say, 15 four-year-olds in their district that want to attend Voluntary Prekindergarten, then they're fine But if they have 20 four-year-olds who want to participate, well, then, the districts have to pay for them for other funding, funding other than what they would get through the Department of Education, and they can pay for those extra five children through a variety of means but including charging user fees to those families A third difference on the final row here has to do with transporting children to school

Now, Voluntary Prekindergarten relies on general education funding for its funding, and with general education funding, school districts are responsible for transporting those children to school if the children live at least two miles away from the school building Programs were funded differently though do not have the same requirement Well, we recommended that the legislature consider aligning some of the funding and some of the eligibility requirements for certain of the early childhood programs We think this could benefit both the program users, as well as those who are providing these programs out around the state of Minnesota Now, aligning the program's funding requirements could improve the efficiency of paying for programs that rely on multiple funding streams coming from the state

The intent is to allow school districts and others to combine the revenues streams in a way that they can get maximum effect out of them and that is recognizing that most of these programs are targeted to children in low income families Aligning program requirements between the child care assistance program and the scholarship program could also help reduce some of the problems for the providers of those two programs For instance, we heard from one provider who said that there are differences in the building cycles between child care assistance and the scholarship program and that that creates inefficiencies for her and for other typically smaller providers One approach to affect a little bit, one approach to our recommendation is to have the legislature convene a working group that would discuss the changes needed to improve alignment among the early childhood programs I move on now to another finding

Before we began this evaluation last year, we started in April I believe of 2017, April or May At that time, legislators had asked us to determine whether services in the early childhood programs overlap Are there overlapping services when we have this many programs? They also asked whether there was duplicative funding given that each program has its own funding stream Well, overall, we had to conclude that it's not possible to determine the extent of potential duplication in the early childhood funding or in the services and this is for a couple of reasons First is that doing this would require an accurate way of identifying children, individual children across the different programs

So, we'd want to know for instance if John Smith who was in this program was the same John Smith in the second program But the Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Department of Human Services do not use the same methods for identifying children and assigning ID numbers to them when they are in their programs Now, the state has what's called an early childhood longitudinal data system, and some of you, many of you may know about it It's a system that combines data on individual children from the early childhood programs across different agencies Well, given this being in place, we thought that it would be reasonable to ask whether such a data system could identify children who potentially receive duplicative services

However, the longitudinal data system really was not designed for this purpose It wasn't set up for it Beyond that, the system did not have complete data For instance, it did not contain during the time that we were conducting our evaluation any data on the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program As another example, it had data from only a little over half of the Head Start agencies in the state

Beyond this, the Department of Education does not collect certain data that would really be needed if we were to identify potential duplication So, as an example, it had data on children who registered for Minnesota School Readiness Program, but the department does not collect data on whether those children actually participated So, even though we know the count of those who had registered, we don't know how many of those registered were there for two weeks or two months or the entire year Beyond that, determining whether children received duplicate services would require much more information on how the local programs and the local entities were being implemented, and that kind of information is not available statewide Now, we did have some data about children who had registered in two programs in 2017

About 27 percent of the children who had enrolled in Voluntary Prekindergarten had also enrolled in School Readiness However, the data did not include the dates of participation for the children in School Readiness as I mentioned a moment ago so we couldn't tell whether they were participating in both programs at the same time Beyond that, we know anecdotally that school districts have combined funding from these two different funding streams to enhance an existing single program, and this obviously is not an example of overlapping services So, with the data available, we were not able to confirm the full extent of that arrangement around the state We also had certain data on children who received funding from two different sources

So, of the children who used a scholarship award coming from fiscal year 2016, about 15% of those children also paid for services in part with money from the Child Care Assistance Program This though does not indicate duplicative funding The programs are set up in a way that providers will first bill Child Care Assistance Program, and then they'll use the scholarships, to the extent the scholarship is available, to cover as much as possible the remaining charges Well, we recommend that the Minnesota Department of Education, the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services jointly identify what's needed to use a universal identification number for children participating in their programs, but one possibility to do this would be to expand the use of the state student ID number which is sometimes referred to as the MARS number, but that's not the only option there are others So, we suggest that the three agencies jointly come together and list the possible alternatives and determine what would be needed to make them work

We also recommend that the Department of Education consistently collect participation data on the children who participate in the programs that it oversees I'll move on now to talking about program effectiveness We concluded that while some programs are required by law to report on various aspects of their effectiveness and others are not, the existing data were inadequate to evaluate program performance on a state-wide basis In addition, the state has in place statutes that refer to the world's best workforce and that statute has five goals for striving toward creating the best workforce in our state One of those five goals is that, all children meet school readiness goals

All children meet school readiness goals Unfortunately, though, we don't have data to measure whether children state-wide are ready to enter school and be successful We looked at some of the statutory requirements related to assessing whether children are ready for school, and I'm going to explain here differences only in state statutes There are also programmatic differences that I'm not going to get into today, but let me call your attention on this particular chart to the final two columns labeled Voluntary Prekindergarten and School Readiness Program So, state law does require the Voluntary Prekindergarten Programs to measure children's skills twice

Once when they enter the program; again, when they leave the program The law also requires aligning the assessment to the state's early learning standards Those standards that lay out what children are expected to know what to do at certain ages Statutes also require the Voluntary Prekindergarten Programs to use a state approved assessment tool Well, by contrast, for the School Readiness Program, it is required to assess whether the children that enter it are ready for school, but the statutes do not require that assessment tools are aligned with the early learning standards for the state nor do statutes require use of a state approved assessment tool

Regarding assessments of school readiness for children entering kindergarten, we found that the state does not have any law that requires school districts to assess school readiness of the children entering kindergarten At the same time, though, we have some reason to believe that many kindergartners are assessed for school readiness As a part of this evaluation we conducted a survey that went out to school districts and to charter schools around the state, and we learned that 81% of the school districts in charter schools reported that they assessed all of their kindergarten children in the 2016 to 2017 school year The department has approved four different assessment tools for assessing school readiness They found that those tools are valid, they're reliable, and they do align with Minnesota's early learning standards

In response to our survey though, 49% of the school districts and the charter schools that did assess children entering kindergarten were using tools other than the four tools that had been tested and approved by the State Department of Education, and it's just unknown whether the tools that are in use by these 49% of the school districts and charter schools are valid or aligned with early learning standards because they haven't been tested Well, we recommend that the legislature consider requiring assessments of all children's school readiness as they complete certain early childhood programs We believe that eventually, that this requirement should apply to all publicly funded programs that have a Parent Aware rating The program should be required to use an assessment tool that is state-approved Lacking this, the state really would have no way to know whether the assessment tools appropriately measured and captured what children know and can do relative to success in kindergarten

Programs would have to report their assessment results to the states, something that is not now currently required Furthermore, if the legislature continues to endorse the world's best workforce, and the goals that are part of it, meaning that all children must meet school readiness goals, it has to require assessments of school readiness for children entering kindergarten Without that, there's no way to know to what extent all children are meeting school readiness Finally, as a part of this recommendation we think that the state is going to have to collect and analyze certain information Certainly, the assessment results of whether children are ready for school is a part of that, but that by itself is not enough

So, we recommend that the legislature direct the three departments to come together, put together a comprehensive approach to evaluating program impacts The Legislature should specify the general outcomes that it would expect from this kind of an evaluation of program impacts, and we think then the three apartments would come together to identify the appropriate indicators of measuring effectiveness for the programs And ultimately, the legislature would be the entity that would decide whether to proceed with whatever plan was the result of that effort Two final findings that I want to talk about with you, one has to do with the conclusion we reached about data sharing among agencies We found that state and federal laws limit the sharing of data among the state agencies that oversee our early childhood programs

The laws are there to protect the identity of individual children which we don't argue with, that's something that's important and should continue, but at the same time while the laws prohibit the sharing of data among the agencies, except under very specific circumstances such as when the subject of that data has already provided written consent that those data can be shared, and while those restrictions on sharing data are important, we think that they can prevent agencies from operating as effectively as they should So as an example, the Department of Human Services cannot share data on those recipients of child care assistance who might also qualify for a scholarship, but the department cannot share those data with the Department of Education in determining income eligibility for the scholarships Our recommendation is that the legislature consider broadening the authority for the three departments to have individual level data from the early childhood programs The final finding that I'm going to talk about today has to do with early childhood screening Minnesota law requires that all children in public school undergo an early childhood health and development screening some time before kindergarten or within 30 days of entering kindergarten

There is an exception made for children whose parents file a conscientious objection to such screening While the Department of Education does collect from school districts a variety of information on the screening program including the number for which conscientious objections have been filed, the department does not collect information on whether all children have been screened, but we recommend that the Department of Education collect data on the number of public school children who are not screened every year So with that, I will conclude my remarks and will proceed with the program Thank you Thank you

It's always hard to fit all of that work into the required 20 minutes Thank you very much I'd like to go ahead and introduce our next group of presenters who are here from the Early Childhood Systems Reform Project So, if Daniel Gumnit, Dianne Haulcy, and Tracy Roloff are here and coming forward Thank you

And we're going to have Q&A after this presentation So, if you have questions on the Legislative Auditor's presentation, we will come back to that as well We actually have a moment of technology switching that's happening So, I guess we do have time for one very quick question If anyone has a clarifying question for the Legislative Auditor's Office, something that came up in that presentation, or Dave do you have an announcement? Okay

Representative Pinto Well, so two things One is this phone was left on the sign in table apparently So, if it is yours then I probably can't really tell Well, if you're missing a phone then it might be yours, so we'll meet over there The other thing is this is a nice opportunity since we have to have this anyway to just, I want to make sure to acknowledge a couple of colleagues who are here just in case I don't know how long they can stay

One of them you're going to hear in the program in a little bit, which is Senator Melissa Wiklund So, over here just want to wave, and you'll be hearing from her But also I did see Senator Carolyn Laine right there, yeah, I'm sitting here I don't know if anybody else, any of my other colleagues or our colleagues in the legislature are here We're so grateful to have Senator Laine here especially, and then Senator Wiklund you're going to be hearing from in a little bit

So, I don't know if that buys enough time, but the phone will be over here Hey, that worked out really well Good morning everybody Good morning I'm Tracy Roloff

I am the Early Childhood Systems Reform Project manager with the state of Minnesota I'm joined here by my colleague, Daniel Gumnit, Executive Director of People Serving People, talking to the microphone and Dianne Haulcy, the Senior Vice President of Family Engagement with Think Small I'm going to do a bit of this presentation and set up the context and then I'll have them join me to give some remarks as we get further along in the slides Is that sound good? Great So, I'm really excited to talk to you today about the Early Childhood Systems Reform Project

I was on the schedule twice for this forum and twice, we had blizzards The second blizzard was in April which was odd because when do we have blizzards in April? And Jim Nicolai and I were joking around after the January one There couldn't possibly be a blizzard in April and then there was, and I have three children and they didn't have anywhere to go that day So, I'm really excited to finally join you here today So, thanks for having us here

With that, I will get on with them The Early Childhood Systems Reform Project was initiated in March of 2017 It was initiated in response to some issues that we've been talking about for quite some time, which is that in Minnesota we cherish our children They are our joy, they are our future, they are where we focus for our success We know that Minnesota has a set up with its state agencies where the programs and services that we have designed to support our youngest children are spread across three state agencies; the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Education

We do a lot for them, but they are spread across those three state agencies Even within those agencies, there are programmatic silos that can create frustration for families and can lead to inefficient use of resources An attempt to map all of the programs and services that the state does provide, I wanted to draw your attention to the text box on the slide The project team that I worked on did an inventory, an updated inventory of the more than 40 programs and services that the state provides for its youngest children and a link to that is found on the Children's Cabinet web page So if you're interested in seeing that, it was updated in January of 2018, we released it

So, there is extensive information there and all those programs and services What you see here is just the top level information of what we see in that fuller report This isn't new news, this isn't a new conversation We didn't just start talking about this in 2017 We've been talking about this for a while

The fact that we want to and can do better for our youngest kids The state of Minnesota has been engaged in and has really been a leader in the nation about what an effective early childhood system looks like, what the components are You can see some of these in this graphic This was developed by stakeholders here in Minnesota Effective components of an Early Childhood System include things like governance, standards, research and development, financing, parent leadership development, communications, accountability and provider support

Since being outlined in 2008, we've made advances in all of these areas We've had the creation and strengthening of the Children's Cabinet and its location in the governor's office, the statewide pilot and then roll out of the parent to where quality rating and improvement system, development and use of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System, and increased interest in investment from both the private and public sector That doesn't nearly cover all of the ways in which here in Minnesota we've been doing all that we can to support our young children and families I am going back a slide Okay

So, despite all the efforts that we've made in serving our youngest children and families, we continue to see some really drastic disparities and what we'd want for our youngest kids and families We just see disparities in prenatal care including access to healthy food We see disparities in birth weight and infant mortality We see disparities in early childhood mental health, child obesity, out-of-home placement and kindergarten readiness These disparities hold steady year after year

Because of these disparities, we know that the things that we're trying we can do better on That maybe we need to try in a different way So, this last year, the Early Childhood Systems Reform Project was launched to use a different approach to system building Instead of using internal resources to examine the strategies, to improve cross agency coordination alignment and services, we decided to bring the children and families that we serve to the center of the process That's what this project diagram depicts

I'm a pointer, I'm going to a point up here behind me So, the reason that in this project diagram, the reason they're the big yellow circle that says Early Childhood Systems Reform Steering Committee because that was the center of this work this past year This is an attentional group of individuals who we invited to join us, that represent the racial, geographic, cultural diversity of the folks who live here in Minnesota This is the group who we put at the center of identifying as we move forward into creating this new early childhood system, this effective early childhood system, these are our partners and framing what we want that to look like and what we want it to achieve I'll talk to you a little bit about more of this project design in a minute

But, the reason that we invited this group in is that we knew that our programs and services, there are issues that we needed to look at and there are root causes of those issues that we wanted the children and families, the communities that we serve to partner with us in examining those I'll say more about that in a minute So, as I said, the Early Childhood Systems Reform Steering Committee to the best degree possible representing the racial, cultural and geographic diversity of individuals in Minnesota What you see is that they're not static players in the conversation but really representing bidirectional feedback with communities that they serve [inaudible]

That is [inaudible] My goodness, the technology is fantastic I'm used to just enunciating loudly, but I can see that maybe folks in the backroom might not be able to hear me [inaudible] Thank you So, thank you

The players in the Early Childhood System Reform Steering Committee bidirectional feedback loops with the communities that they represent So, not static players but ongoing communication loops Because what we're reforming is a state system needing to be anchored in the lived reality of what is happening in state government and so the project anchored in the Children's Cabinet with oversight and then the project overseen by the Early Childhood Systems Reform Oversight Committee So, this is a group of assistant commissioners and division directors from the three state agencies that I talked about; The Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, and the Department of Education as well as the Early Childhood Systems Reform Project team which involved state staff from DHS, MDH and MDE to guide the work of the project So, real anchoring in the lived reality of state government

Again, talking about that this isn't the first time or space that we've been having these conversations A real intentionality with alignment with other state efforts focused on early childhood, specifically the early learning council So, I'll points to that one Intentionally, Kelly Monson, the Executive Director of the Children's Cabinet, overseeing internal alignment between the work of the two groups and the chair and co-chair of the Early Learning Council were members of the steering committee So, what were we busy doing all year? We'd been meeting since March of 2017

The group engaged in conversations examining the challenges and barriers that families and communities were feeling in terms of the services that they wanted for their youngest children to access to those and the outcomes they were seeing Through conversations, not just focusing on those problems but the root causes of what was contributing to those problems and started by not identifying what would an effective early childhood system look like What would the components be? What do we need to mess with? Instead starting with, if we had the best functioning early childhood system in the world, if we were the envy of all, what is the future reality that that system would be creating? Really focusing there and starting with lifting up our communities specific values to identifying that vision We capture that vision in this theory of change I'll read that vision to you

By focusing on children facing racial, geographic and economic inequities, all children in Minnesota will be born healthy and able to thrive within their families and communities The committee was also able to identify how they wanted to achieve that vision Creating an equitable system that supports pregnant and parenting families with young children To do this, families, communities and government agencies partner to eliminate structural racism and inequities that exist in access, policies, programs and practices But we didn't stop there

A vision by its very nature needs to be broken down into tangible achievable outcomes to be realized So, the group began some conversations about, if that's the vision we want to achieve, how do we know we're achieving that? How do we move in that direction? We're able to identify that by focusing on early learning, health and well being, economic security and safe stable nurturing relationships, we'd be doing well to achieve that vision The conversations didn't stop there We also know that those are broad enough that they could include a myriad of activities The important part of this work is that, this is a collective action work

We want to make sure that our energies are all focusing and achieving in the same direction? So, the group identified if we want to achieve these goals, if we're moving in the direction of this vision, we need to focus on early care and education, healthy births and development, housing and community design, government partnership with community and family and community support And these focus areas aren't one for one correspondent with the goal areas but are interrelated and drive change across several areas Using those focus areas in a series of strategic conversations where steering committee members brought in personal stories that reflect the lived reality of the children and families that they serve or are, the steering committee was able to lift up a recommendation framework and what's included in this theory of change are the top level recommendations I'm going to read those to you, prioritize policies that support family economic stability, ensure policies and programs incorporate an inclusive and flexible definition of family, expose and eradicate explicit and implicit racial and geographic bias, incentivise authentic partnerships between government and communities, increase access to and knowledge of services and community driven and culturally responsive ways, increase access to safe and affordable housing for families with low incomes, build trust of government within communities, and transform government culture and operations to meet the needs of families and communities The Early Childhood Systems Reform steering committee has a fuller breakdown of what these recommendations look like

I know you can't read word for word what is contained on this slide, but we will make that available to you after the presentation The subtext of these recommendations lift up, if we want to achieve these top level what will they look like? So, for example, if we look at increased access to and knowledge of services in a community driven and culturally responsive way, we might do that by ensuring that culturally specific whole family programs and services are provided within communities That's an example of what those lower level recommendations look like With that, I would like to invite Daniel and Dianne to join me at the microphone and what I would really like you to share is what excites you about, what makes you hopeful about this recommendation frame work and talk about your involvement in developing these recommendations Thanks

Good morning everybody Okay I don't think I broke it My name is Daniel Gumnit and the CEO of People Serving People, and we are an organization dedicated to ending and preventing childhood and family homelessness We do that in a couple of ways

One, by focusing on the emergency needs of families, we operate the region's largest shelter for children and families experiencing homelessness, and we also have extensive prevention programs, and our theory of change is that if we are going to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness for children or for our families, we need to focus on the youngest members of our community So, our greatest program investments are all child-centric So, some of the things that we really like about this was the focus on equity of racial, economic, and geographic That was something that the entire group, I can say to a person, was passionate about, and I think it really comes out in the recommendations and I get teased for counting things But if you count in the recommendations it mentions a racial or some other equity five times, and in a document like this I think that is a profound and really important

The other thing that we really like about it is the focus on acute and historical trauma We know that trauma plays a huge role in many of the families we're all serving, and to look at it both in the present time and from history is really important and it also calls out addressing structural racism I think it's really powerful to see that in this document The other thing that we really like is how it places families at the center One of the things that is a real challenge, I think it came out in the LAA comments, and this is that we have a very siloed approaches to the work that we're doing

So, rather than placing the state's siloed departmental response at the center of how we do things, if we place families and their needs at the center and then find ways of breaking down the silos, we have a greater chance of success Then the other one that, obviously, as a organization focused on homelessness that we care deeply about is addressing affordable housing I think it's time for us to address affordable housing as the public health and education crisis it is In 2018, for us not to be addressing affordable housing as a public health crisis is wrong We have to do this

So, this document is making affordable housing a priority, I think is a really powerful thing With that, we flipped coins I got to go first so I am going to turn it over to Dianne Thanks Daniel I'm Dianne Haulcy with Think Small

I'm also the co-chair of Voices and Choices for Children Coalition and also vice chair of Governors Early Learning Council I wanted to echo all of what Daniel said but also raise a couple of more points that we really liked about the way the recommendations turned out One of them is the way that it talks about government interacting with communities and especially in developing policies and co-creating policies together It really lifts up, I think, in the one on having authentic partnerships between government and communities It really lifts up and gives a little bit more context and detail around how communities can really build policies together in ways that can really create policies that are not just helpful for communities but make more sense for those people that are accessing services

Then also, kind of in that similar vein, the last one around transforming government culture This one is really more about how you use culture We talk a lot about hiring from communities of color and that's good, but that's kind of a first step Really, we want to look at how do we incorporate communities of color, but also learn from different communities and being able to take the cultures of different communities and kind of embed those into the policies because our state is changing and we're growing and the communities that we're serving now look a lot different than they did even five or 10 years ago and they will continue to change, and so we need to be able to follow those trends and really be able to know a lot about the cultures that we're serving and how we can use those aspects of those cultures in developing our policies The other thing I like is that this is not, the way that all of these recommendations are developed, is not just for state government, for instance

They can be used on various different levels of government It can be used for the state but also can be used in local levels, county levels and even for, if you look at it from an administrative point of view So, wherever you are at, in the work that you do, there are ways that you can take and adapt these policies to the work that you do Lastly, I want to talk about how we're going to use these going forward and a little bit about the feedback loop that Tracy mentioned because many of the people that were on the steering committee also represented other coalitions and work that's happening We are working to kind of bring this vision and the recommendations to that work

You'll hear later today, I think from Kelly Monson, who may talk about how the Children's Cabinet has adopted the same vision and other groups that we know are also looking at adopting this vision I will be taking this work also back to Voices and Choices and the vision We were also very involved in that but also taking it back to our steering committee to see how can we incorporate this work, these visions and the recommendations in the work that we are doing, and that's what it's for We want everyone to be able to lift this up, and the more that we have people adopting the vision and the recommendations, the more movement we will have in this work So with that, I hand it back over to Tracy

One minute, one minute So, moving forward Dianne, beautiful segue into what's next because we have this recommendation framework, we have this theory of change Yay It was great

Now we have work to do, right? This is a collective action piece that we can use to guide over going forward So we're outlining, it has three pathways for action, work that can happen internally within state agencies using this recommendation framework to drive forward with administrative and practice changes, there are some more policy and legislative focused opportunities that Dianne started talking about, and then really knowing that the work with communities doesn't stop, that we haven't actually even started, and so doing some and intentional work on community and immersive partnerships to define strategies and actions in connection with the Minnesota Two Generation Policy Network that you may be familiar with So, we'll be doing more that way Before we end, I wanted to see Daniel, do you have any next comments on how you might work to drive it forward within the work you do? Sure

I'll do this briefly because I know we're at the end of our time One of the things that I'm going to do is, along with folks like Bardie Wahi and Lord Macwhirter Loon and Barb Faber, who are also part of this Bring It Into The Mini Mines Coalition and see how it can inform our policy work I'm also part of Kids Can't Wait and we're going to talk about how this could influence our advocacy efforts around Sea Cap One of the things I've already done is brought this to our board and we're going to see how this can affect our ongoing strategic planning process, and we're also sharing it with our stakeholders because we think this is important work and it creates a good context for the work we're doing, and then of course we're going to use it in our advocacy efforts So, I'm hoping that this can give you some ideas on how you can bring this into your coalitions or your organizations and how you're doing your work

Thank you so much Don't go too far because we're going to call you right back up You can go back to your sit for a minute if you want to and just like, don't make a break out of the back of the room Okay So, next we're going to invite Kelly Monson up to give an agency response to the OLA program evaluation

After Kelly speaks we will have all of our speakers from this morning, so far, come back up and be up here and we'll have some time for some Q and A from everybody I always have to lower the microphone Good morning everybody It's great to be here today It's a beautiful day outside

So, I hope all of you will get a chance to get out there after this So, I'm excited Actually, let me go back for a second When representative Pinto, asked me to do this and he said, "You have 10 minutes" and I was like, "I actually really only need one" Excited to say that we really see the OLA report as an opportunity

This is things we've been talking about in state agencies I worked in state government for just over 10 years, and I know we've been talking about it for much longer than that, and we really see it as an opportunity to take all of that talking and kickstart it into some action So, we're really excited to move forward If you have the hard copy of the report in front of you, in the back there are specific responses from the state agencies They are the ones who administer the programs at Children's Cabinet does not administer their programs

Then, I think if you have the summary, there is a summarized response from the three state agencies, and honestly, what I can say is, we agree with it We absolutely agree with this report We're excited to start the work We actually have a meeting, I think it's in the next two weeks to gather some of the cross agency folks to start talking about who needs to be at the table to help us identify what that unique identifier could be and moving forward So, quite honestly, we're just excited to get going on this work and move it forward

See, I didn't need 10 minutes Do you want me to stay up here for questions? You really didn't need that much time Okay I'd like to invite Jody Hauer back up, and also our speakers about the systems change project We have a couple of passed mikes so we will shortly, I don't know where are mike passers are, but we will open up for questions

I grew up in Southern Arizona and Phoenix had a mayoral election had a community group apolitical to evaluate each candidate and make recommendations So, when I looked at this, I would think that you would want a political groups in each county organizing as well as on state level to work with their legislator This is complicated and most legislators probably don't even understand this very well How would you suggest organizing community groups or would you recommend that to advocate for these programs at their local political legislative levels? That makes sense? Would you recommend community groups getting together to promote, understand, first of all, this is complicated, and then advocate to their local legislators, doing it all at the state level at the Minnesota pediatric doesn't make sense, you'd have to do it at the local level, I presume I guess I'll take that one is it? I would say yes

I mean, I think, we can do what we can at the state but I think all politics are local and that absolutely there should be community groups who are taking on this work, and I don't know if you were talking specifically or if you're talking both about the OLA report, and The Early Childhood Systems Reform recommendations, but I believe, yeah, absolutely Both Both? Yeah I mean, I think that's the strong voice at the capital is citizens in Minnesota and not necessarily those who work at the state So, I would encourage folks to take this out and talk to their local legislators or local community leadership

Tracy might have some more ideas on how to do that Take it out into Yeah Well, one of the big ways that we're taking it out into communities is in partnership with the Minnesota Two Generation Policy Network Can I just have a show of hands of who might be familiar with that network? Not so many folks

So, maybe there's opportunity to do an update to this group at the next quarterly convening about the good work they're doing I'll keep it really top level The Minnesota Two Generation Policy Network is in advancing how we can serve the children and families by thinking about whole families It's not just thinking about what parents need or not just thinking about what children need, but really thinking about all of those individuals together as one unit because they are, and they exist in communities, and it's moving past thinking about that individual focus to how do we think about all of this, and align our services in a ways that we are addressing all those needs simultaneously We have some friends here from the Northside achievement zone, if you can wave your hands, hello

They are a member of the Minnesota Two Generation Network effort this year, and have been engaged in the deep work of looking at, and have all along, that's their real strength of masses that they may think about whole families on that trajectory of birth to college So, it's how do we match that in our state programs, services and so on and so forth So, we will be partnering with that Two Generation Policy Network to do this deep engagement with the families and communities levels and layers of the system, and all of those connection points to how we can advance these recommendations out of the communities We have another question in the back Hi, my name is Mary Vandory

I sit on the St Paul's school board and I'm also Minnesota's tooth fairy but that's another thing I'm excited about the systems work but as I look at it and I've been in the field of many years that I wonder if the approach that we've taken in the past to design programs for specific groups has contributed to the fragmentation that our system currently has Then, I wonder if targeting specific groups if that may be contributing to the polarization we see in our country right now when groups are separated out, and then are stigmatized or blamed for use of tax dollars or efforts So, I'm wondering how that system's change might be used to bring people together, leverage our communities that are right now blaming others and getting them on board to sort of see us all together as a community, that all her children are all our children, and that families are worthy of support and not a drain on the system

Is that question makes sense? So, I'm not sure if this is on, but I'll try to project them Okay So, I would say that the short answer to, I think it's a question, is yes But I think the systems reform work, what I will say, what I really appreciated about the process of how we got to the recommendations is that we allowed, because the group was formed the way it was with many people representing many different, as Tracy said, geographic, ethnic communities, that we've really had deep, rich conversations This was not a group that would just agree to something because somebody said it and everybody says, okay, that sounds fine

This was not that kind of group, and so, there was a lot of really good, rich conversation about not just how we landed in the situation that we are in now, but how do we get out of it I think ultimately, where the group moved towards this reflected in the recommendations is that we need a different kind of relationship that we have, that the government and the communities need a different kind of relationship because the relationship that we have right now just isn't working As with any relationship, sometimes things just don't work out, and right now, things just don't seem to be working out as well But the good thing and the opportunity, I think, in these recommendations is to be able to look at things differently It was an opportunity to dream, like if we had our way, how would we like to create this? So, if everything else being equal, and so, where that starts is in our attitudes

That's where I would just challenge people to look at things differently Well, we know how things are right now Well, how could they be in the future? What kind of relationship could we have? How could we develop our policies in ways that really reflected what people need? So, I would just challenge people to start to think about that I think, in my opinion, that's where it starts, within our heads and our attitudes, about believing how things could happen So, thanks, Diane, for a very positive vision, but it's Tracy started this conversation

This came out of work around disparities, and outcomes for black and brown children in our community are totally unacceptable Yes, we care about all the children in our community, but the disparities persist, and they persist, and they persist That is why this document is so focused on racial economic and geographic equity Other questions? Right there Right, yes

I'm sorry, I can't read you Yes, the woman who standing behind the man in the green shirt who already asked a question I can't read your name tag from here [inaudible] County Public Health For Jody and the auditors, what excited you the most about this final product, and where do you see the lowest hanging fruit, and then, where might be the bigger challenges or controversial pieces? What excited me most about the report's conclusions was the reaction we got to the report's conclusions

So, it was the conclusions themselves But I think that, at least on the Senate side, which did have a hearing on the report, it was a joint hearing of K12 finance and Cato policy committees, the Senators, I thought, expressed a lot of enthusiasm for making some changes to improve the set of programs So, that's very encouraging Now, the timing of our report was such that it came near the end of a legislative session, and although I know that there were some efforts to try to incorporate some things into the omnibus bills, that did not occur But I know that Senator Wiklund is going to be talking with this group in just a moment

So, I was very heartened about that, just the general reaction from the people who are going to be making the decisions about what changes to make You also asked about low hanging fruit That's harder to answer I don't know that there are low hanging fruit I think all of these changes are ones that will take effort, thought, collaboration, maybe in ways that go beyond what have been done already

Although you've heard already, many things have taken place over the past several years, but I think we have to go beyond that or there won't be positive change, though it's heartening to hear that within the next couple of weeks is already going to be a meeting of the three agencies and the relevant staff talking about well, how can we proceed with putting together a unique identifier that would help cross across the boundaries of the three different agencies So, I'm encouraged by that, but I think that in every case, the recommendations that we had and following up with the large agenda of work that you really set out for yourself with the systems reform effort, it's going to be hard It's not going to be an easy thing that we're going to be able to do within the next year or within one bill in the next legislative session So, I think it is an enormous effort that we face I think we have another question right here

[inaudible] Hold on a minute [inaudible] I promise we'll call on you next I'm just curious with all the talk about better understanding how multiple programs might serve individual children and how these programs interact, if there's been any talk about policy goals and whether the goal should be to serve a family's complete child care needs across programs, or whether there shouldn't be any kind of direction

It seems to me right now, it's up to program administrators to a large extent when these programs are oversubscribed, but they decide to sprinkle their money across as many families as possible, or whether they try to, maybe from work two-generational approach, make sure that parents also have all the care they need to succeed at work So, I'm curious beyond just understanding how well they do interact and to what extent families are served by multiple programs, if there's also a conversation about what the preferable level of multiple services for the same family even is at this point in the short term before we have a wonderful new system that has less than 40 programs I don't feel I have a strong answer for your question I think that you're talking about, how do these maybe agreeable positive thoughts and ideas and recommendations we've had up here, how does that actually get implemented at the local level? Because that's another dimension to what I was saying earlier about how difficult this change is going to be because it's not just policies that we implement at the state level It's going to have to reverberate out among all of the local government agencies, all of the school districts around the state, including the counties and the county personnel, and into local community services that are out around the state

So, I don't think anyone could argue with the questioner's premise that we should be looking at, what does an individual family unit need in order to do well, and to have the children succeed in school? I don't think anyone can argue with that Again to me it's just comes back to, it's not going to be an easy thing to do It is something that we have to be thinking about at the state level so that it can be pushed down I also want to make clear that I don't think it's absent right now I think that that kind of activity is taking place but I think it's limited because of the amount of money that's available

I think it is something that has to be encouraged So, it will be incumbent upon the states to do whatever it takes to encourage that at the local level to enhance the efforts that are already out there, to focus on how you can bolster and help the individual family unit, and to make sure that that individual family has what it needs to succeed If anyone wants to add Hi There was a lot of conversation about this in the work group as well

The work group was primarily driven by that state agency level but was really acknowledged and championed by certain members of the group that the counties play a major role in implementing much of what we're talking about, as well as the school districts and others So, inheriting this work is not only between the silos in the executive branch, or the agencies but also up and down through all of these different branches of government as well All right Next question One thing I didn't hear mentioned, I'm an advocate of early literacy training as a common denominator to all of what we've been talking about

60 percent of prison inmates are mostly illiterate Half the teen dropouts, teen pregnancies, moms on medical insurance, Medicaid I didn't hear an early focus on zero to three early training in the home of literacy We offer free books, but I don't think that's enough I think you need to go into the home, to work with moms

It's a multi-generational problem of illiteracy But I don't hear that emphasized enough, I don't think Different groups do it but it's piecemeal So, I think what you're saying is really important I think what I would note specifically about the early childhood system reform work was, we really started not at programs and looking at programs

We were truly looking at the system So, we didn't get down to that level of program yet We did that intentionally because every time we started programs, we just developed new programs and continued to do more of the same So, this was really a concerted effort to not do that So, that's maybe why you don't see us or hear us talking about it

That does not mean we don't feel that that's important because it definitely is But we were more systems level, and then that just did not come up in that overlay report Okay So, we have time for maybe two more quick questions I see two people with their hands up

Nicely played I am Todd Ottis with Think Small So, we're going to have a new governor System is a reform people What are the top two or three things that that person needs to do for the 2019 session and beyond? Everyone's looking at me

So, I would say, one of the top things that needs to happen, we've been talking about this a little bit is that, we really want the new governor, whomever that may be, to really have a focus on families, and also on equity So, I would say those are the top two because those are the issues that are really not only affecting us right now, but have the potential to wherever we go with that is going to really affect our communities, our state long term If we're not able to really effectively address the equity issue that Daniel talked about earlier, then that has long lasting dire consequences for our state So, I think that is probably the number one thing to really be able to deal with the equity issue, and how that is affecting our families I have to answer that too although Todd didn't direct the question to me

But I think one of the top things that the governor, whoever that might be, will have to do is encourage his or her commissioners that are involved here to be able to come together to continue some of the work that has been started Because unless the governor does that, there really wouldn't be an incentive necessarily for the commissioners to do the kind of collaboration that they've already begun Okay This is our last question Hi

I'm Michelle Fallon I'm with the Infant Early Childhood Division of the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health I think this is such a fabulous process and lots of exciting things But I'm not hearing a lot about professional development in the plan that I think when we talk about reducing disparities into generation work, I think many of us go into early childhood because we want to work with little kids, and they keep coming with adults So, what are we going to do to support the workforce, early care, and child care all those folks, to do the kind of big tasks that we're talking about? Okay

They're telling me that I have to take this one Again, that's a really good question That's one of the things that I would say in the Children's Cabinet, and all of the different work that's happening, all the different initiatives is, we have to be really smart about how we bring this work together There is a work group It's called the B8 work group

They're looking at things like professional development, teacher preparation, and then that might be expanded out to other areas as well But again, like I said, we have to be really smart about how we bring this work together We know that if we don't have a workforce that can do that, then we're not going to see the outcomes that we need I firmly believe in that So, it's not just telling programs to do this, but we need to support those individuals who are working in those programs

Thank you very much Let's say thank you to our morning speakers, early morning speakers We are going to take a break There is coffee, ice tea, and water over there The restrooms are down the hall

Into the right We will be reconvening at 10:40 Hi everyone Okay It's 10:40

There's a lot of great networking but we are going to try to get back together so that Senator Wicklund can come up and speak So, if people could begin to return back to their seats Fill up your coffee cups I'm just going to keep talking until people sit down Or maybe I'll come back in a minute

But this is a one minute warning Okay Let's get back to our seats So we spent the first part of the morning talking about these broad efforts to examine where we are in early childhood In about ten minutes we're going to be doing some looking forward efforts, so looking at some looking forward efforts

But in the meantime, just a pause, to hear from Senator Melissa Wiklund to provide a legislative perspective on where we are in early childhood program So, please join me in welcoming Senator Wicklund Thank you and good morning I really appreciate being invited today I was pleased that Representative Pinto asked if I would come and provide a legislator's perspective on the report and session and some thoughts on moving forward from here

And I just had a couple of slides There's my information I am a state senator I represent most of Bloomington and about half of Richfield in the State Senate, and was elected in 2012 first time and again elected in 2016 I have been able to work on issues that I really care about over that time

I am on the Education Finance Committee and I'm also on the Health and Human Services Finance Committee And so, I've been able to spend a bunch of time on looking at early childhood issues as a crossover between both our Health Human Services realm and Education And as you've heard today a lot about how the different agencies are involved I have been able to work with each agency and that I think has been helpful as a legislator too So, I'm going to give my perspective today and I look forward to hearing what questions you have later on, and hearing perspectives on how we should be moving forward in Minnesota with this really important issue of how we serve our youngest children and our families

So, with respect to an outline of what I'm going to cover in the 10 minutes I have, I just want to talk briefly about the 2018 session and report I will give you some of my thoughts on the report recommendations I wanted to point out and some of them have already been discussed today, but I wanted to point out some other activities that are going on that I think we should keep in mind as we think about the auditor's recommendations And then just some thoughts about the 2019 session and beyond, looking forward into the future and some things that I have been thinking about So, first with respect to the session, just a couple of months ago, the report came out as was mentioned in April

And, it was a little bit unfortunate that it was in April because it was passed all of our Committee deadlines, which makes it really challenging for us to bring forward any legislation after that time and have a structured process to bring it through to propose actions As Jody mentioned, we did have a hearing in the Senate Senator Carla Nelson organized a hearing on the report and we had a readout and I thought we had a good discussion of some of the key action items that stood out in the report And I think there was bipartisan support for moving forward with action Clearly, there are many things that we could act on and we had discussions about organizing a working group of some sort

Given that it was so late in the session, we had more discussions about it but nothing was brought forward before the last week So, I started working with Senator Eric Pratt, a Republican and we talked about, was there some language that we could put into legislation that would provide a directive to agencies to work on these action items over the interim? We drafted a bill and he was a cosigner on it with me We talked with our leadership We tried to find a place to put this in I worked with Kelly Monson on the language and we tried to make it as less impactful in terms of the legislature where there is no funding required

Basically, it was a way to direct the agencies to work on the recommendations that came out of the report We weren't ultimately able to get it placed into any of the bills that moved forward We had conversations with the House leadership but were not able to get traction there And, like I say, it's challenging when we're past deadlines to do this It's disappointing because I think there are some key action items that we should be taking up in the interim and I hope that we can make progress

I'm very happy to hear it today that Kelly Monson said that there is agency work going on and some of the people will be brought together even though we weren't able to move forward with something more of a legislative directive So, in terms of my thoughts on the report recommendations, I think the overall report, I was very excited that the topic was chosen here a year and a half ago and I'm very pleased with the structure of the report I think it was a huge topic to cover and I felt that the auditors chose carefully and wisely and were able to pick out some of the key programs to review And, I think they really were able to highlight some of the key focus areas that we should have to improve our early childhood system Certainly not able to cover all the programs but I think it does highlight how we do have system level issues with having multiple funding streams and different program requirements and we have a lack of coherence that's really not helpful for families or for the system in general, and how we make use of the funding we have

So, I think that the recommendations around addressing complexity, what exists today with having so many different programs, I think the recommendations to bring the agencies together to look for ways to find alignment in terms of the program requirements and funding requirements, I think that that's very valuable work that should happen And I think it also should help us think as we go forward, are there better ways than we've been utilizing to develop? If we need new types of programs, are there better ways that we can implement them so that we aren't adding new funding streams and more complexity? I think that this will help our families navigate how to access what they need in the system And, it's also I think beneficial in terms of the system being able to more efficiently use funding I think the data collection piece, I think that's something that we do also I think it's really important that we need to address

If we aren't able to look at all the pieces of information, if we don't have them to look at, I don't know how we can make a good judgment about, where we have effective programs and where we really need to focus our intent So, I'm going to skip to just talking about some other activities just so that you are aware, Senator Weber, he is the chair in the Senate of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee He is holding during the interim committee or subcommittee hearings on child care and access to child care So, I am a part of that I'm not on his committee, but he has selected some members from his committee, and then Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, and myself were added because we've spent more time working on child care issues

I co-lead a task force a couple of years ago about access to child care and so, it's an area of interest for me to continue to work on He had his first meeting a week ago and I think there'll be very interesting meetings A lot of the focus from his perspective has been on rural development and how we can increase access to child care in rural Minnesota I think it's a statewide issue and I think we need to look at it as a statewide issue Accessing child care is something that's affecting families across the state

A lot of what they had been talking about had to do with areas of licensing and regulation, and I think those are important topics, very important to family child care providers across the state, and I think there's more discussion that we need to have We started that with the task force I had, but more work needs to be done on that I'm also hoping that he will have discussions that includes workforce development, how do we better encourage providers to go into the field, and what is it going to take from a state perspective to do that? I'm getting the signal that I'm running out of time, so I will just save for the future For the 2019 session, I'm hoping to work on drafting legislation during the interim to pick out some of the things from the OLA report that I think our tactical actions that we could take next session and I'm happy to work with any of you who are interested I mean, some of the things that come to mind are this discussion around using a single ID, is there legislation needed for that, reviewing the program requirements, and coming forward with recommendations on alignment, data collection

One area I didn't mention was this idea that we don't have any way to statewide look at kindergarten readiness when we have a school readiness goal in our world's best workforce goals I think that's an area where we should put some effort to making a proposal to go forward with a statewide participation in that kindergarten readiness assessment Next session, we really should be talking as a funding year We should be talking about CCAP The federal funding that we maybe have not been able to access as of yet and that may need legislative action

Workforce development, again, I think that we have some programs in place Do they need to be funded additionally? We have grants that go to child care providers and associates to encourage them to get additional credentials Do those programs need additional funding? And then, data collection as well as be another area that I'd like to see work go forward on In the bigger term, I think there's a lot of early childhood system work that's going on You've heard about some of it so far

It's a big, big job I hope that we can find ways to connect the legislature to the work that's going on There are a lot of different recommendations that come out and proposals, and finding a way to help the legislature understand what the key policy, and funding decisions that need to be made I think that's a challenge, and we need to continue to work on ways to have the legislature partner with all of you and your organizations to decide what are the highest priorities for the state to make sure that we are moving it forward Briefly mentioned was the elections coming up, which will certainly set the tone for going forward and is really an unknown at this point, but it's going to be a really significant issue and significant times in 2019 making the transition

So, I will stop there and I look forward any questions you have later on Thank you Thank you, Senator Wiklund We will have time for questions after we have several speakers come up So, if you have burning questions for Senator Wiklund, make a note of them

We will have time for questions in a few, after a few more speakers Next will be a Etonde Awaah How am I doing? Yeah Okay I didn't get a chance to check with you ahead of time

Sorry Who will be speaking about the Prenatal to Three policy initiative There you are Hi everyone! My name is Etonde I'm here on behalf of LaCroix-Dalluhn who's currently in San Diego at the Build Conference, I believe

But she sends her greetings I'm just here to talk a little bit about the Prenatal to Three policy initiative, and really give you a high level idea of what that is, and encourage you to look at our website, which has far more information than I can share right now So, I'm just a little bit of background about how we came together The Pritzker Children's Initiative is a project of the JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation, and based out in Illinois I believe, and they are investing in states and communities to build capacity for planning and executing ambitious policy agendas for improving outcomes for babies, toddlers, and their families So, they're really focused on establishing quality systems, and programming for infants, toddlers, and their families

So, the Prenatal to Three policy initiative is a joint effort of West Central Initiative and LaCroix-Dalluhn Consulting being Lauren, myself Nancy Joss leading up the work on behalf of the West Essential Initiative We're supported by the Alliance for Early Success and funded by the Pritzker Children's Initiative as I just explained The Prenatal to Three policy initiative is our statewide work Then, Minnesota also received two local/community grants, one to Ramsey County and one of the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board

Our planning team consists of over 30 leaders and stakeholders working across the state in this field I see many familiar faces in the room, and they can also speak to you about the work that we've been doing, namely some of the ones that have been up here, Representative Pinto, Senator Ralph, Dan Holsey, Kelly Monson, all around the planning committee as well So, you can talk to them or anyone else that says that they're part of it The purpose of the Prenatal to Three policy initiative is to raise awareness I'm just reading of this by the way

Raising their wariness about the importance of the early years in life, and to ensure our youngest citizens are meeting important developmental benchmarks, and are ready for kindergarten So, when we were approached by Pritz, the Children's Initiative to do this work, it was with the expectation that we would have a shared vision and advocacy policy plan to implement in 2019, to develop some advocacy strategies to support our shared vision and policy plan, and then also, to have formed a unified coalition in Minnesota focused on cross-cutting Prenatal to Three policies to support infants, toddlers, and their families So, our first meeting was in June, and we will go through the end of the year having meetings once a month We're really trying to be intentional about making a space where those on the planning team can come together, and build relationships, and have honest dialogue in a way that leads us towards a truly unified coalition in 2019 So that started in June just by us getting to know who's at the table, some of the big accomplishments according to those who are at the table about what they've achieved through their work in their organizations

Then, we met last week actually and really got- did some hard work trying to establish some shared values, shared principles, and some potential like policy approaches, and that we could go in The previous speakers from The Early Childhood Systems Reform talked about their vision and how the work that they're doing They're really trying to make it such that others can really adopt the work and it can be that sort of growing effort I just want to mention that we actually chose in our last meeting to also adopt the vision of The Early Childhood Systems Reform in efforts to be more aligned with that work and all this, I think is a general trend of trying to work in the PN-3 space together So, we're excited about that

I will put up our website I am done now, but our website has far more information Our contact information in case you want to learn more So, thank you I think I'll be up here for questions as well if you need that

So, thank you Thank you very much Kelly Monson is now going to come up and speak about gubernatorial transition planning Did everyone get the website? You got it Before I flip the- you're walking very slowly to allow people to get the website? That's so kind

Hello again, everyone You're probably getting tired of hearing from me So, I'm here to talk just a few minutes about the gubernatorial transition and what we are thinking and that we are thinking about it I wish, I really wish I had a crystal ball, and could tell you what's going to happen and what the plan is, but unfortunately I don't One thing I will say, and I'm probably biased, but no matter political party, this work is so important and we should all care about it

So, I'm really hoping that that message and you all help us continue to share that message with the candidates of how important this work is I am excited This thing is falling down That's why I'm holding it I am excited to tell you that we were just awarded an 18 month Technical Assistance Grant

There is no money attached to that but it's technical assistance and actually that's more important for us right now, and that is a National Governors Association grant that we have received and the technical assistance will come from the National Children's Cabinet Network, and why we're really excited about that is because that was the organization that came into Minnesota when Governor Dayton put the life back into the Children's Cabinet because as you know we are in statute It looks very different from what we are right now What this grant will help us do really is to take a step back and look at the infrastructure of the Children's Cabinet Do we do we have it right? Probably not Could we improve it? Probably definitely

So, we'll look at experts and others across the nation actually, and the state of Maryland who has a really really super running Children's Cabinet that's been around for a long time So, some lessons learned from them to look at the infrastructure as well as what should our focus be, should we be focused prenatal to age, should it be wider than that especially now that we are talking about multi-generational and families, and not looking just at the child specifically, because we know children don't come to us alone They have families with them Then one of the reasons actually that the National Governors Association awarded this is some conversations that they were having with the Children's Cabinet Network, because states were contacting them saying, "Hey we've got a transition coming, and we don't know how to sustain this work, we don't know how to get this work ready", so another area that they will help us with, along with other initiatives, is a transition plan, and set up a really good solid transition plan, and the 18 month is purposeful, so that when the new administration comes in, they will have another site visit where they will meet with the governor, which is also again key to why it's from the National Governors Association because they really have no choice but to do that Then finally, really, we have a lot of initiatives going on in the Children's Cabinet

My colleague Amira Adawi is here, who does a lot of our policy work So, out of all of those initiatives, policy probably will come out, policy recommendations that we want to see happen So, this plan will also help us look at that along with our work with the build initiative as well as look at other policy recommendations that can be made for our current Children's Cabinet So, we are thinking about the transition It's kind of that time where you have plan A, plan B, plan C, and maybe even a plan D, you don't know, but that we are working on it and it is on our radar and probably think about it 24/7

So, thank you Oh, it is falling Oh, this is Okay Next will be Jane Cressma, speaking for Elders for Infants

Drooping, drooping is good for me So, that's all right All right Well, thank you and thank you all for hanging in there I am just really pleased

I think I have to advance So, the title of our presentation today is called In Retrospect, looking back over a course of a period of events of time with hindsight 2020 vision I think the thing we can say about the Elders for Infants is we lived through these several decades and we continue to have passion for the cause of young children beginning before birth We really make no claim to wisdom, but I was reminded of a quote by Confucius from thousands of years ago that referenced wisdom He said, "By three methods we may learn wisdom

First, by reflection, which is the noblest Second, by imitation, which is easiest Third, by experience, which is the bitterest" So, we are experienced I used to have a quote on my refrigerator which was that, "Experience", let's see, "Good judgment comes from experience

Experience comes from bad judgment" You can write that one down We are people with experience in fields of child car, public health, parent education, academia, philanthropy and government Our group informally organized several years ago with a goal to make the needs of babies and families visible with a focus on equity We began partnering on the prenatal the three forms a couple of years ago

The elders' assignment on the historical context for the 2018 OLA evaluation spans 40 years It includes an old program like ECFE, and some relative newcomers It's a daunting task We humbly acknowledge that the context is immensely complicated That people in discussing history are always going to disagree about how past events should be interpreted

Our goal is not to point fingers, and not to critic, but to offer an honest reflection and hopefully set the stage for some open space for discussion So, let's first consider Minnesota Minnesota takes pride in itself We're, for good reason, we have many many good things about ourselves This is sort of the potluck of Minnesota and we also know the narrative

Minnesota is Lake Wobegon, where the men are good looking, the women are [inaudible] and the children are [inaudible] Okay Remember, half the American people are below average Okay So, sorry

So, here's Minnesota's bubble, though, as we think about this That we are a land of 10,000 lakes and 10,000 pilot projects We are state-supervised, county-administered We love local decision-making and we have a commitment to that Prior to the 1970s, we were quite homogeneous

We were and still are Northern Europeans that persist in this collective perception of ourselves as nice We don't really like strong emotions So, therefore, some people might say we're a little passive aggressive But nonetheless, we have become a much more diverse population We also have a painful history that we don't like to acknowledge very often

We have long winters which that is my cultural mix of thinking that for so many years people had to hunker down and stay home and just live within their communities So, we became much more content being close in it and it's been hard We've also, I think in recent years, become more metrocentric So, we also have a national bubble in which we have lived These are just some things that have happened over the past 40 years that have definitely influenced how Minnesota's systems, how we relate and why we have the Siloed funding streams that we have and also the challenges we're facing

So, you can see the list We saw a decline in real wages that put more family members in the workforce beginning in the 70s A federal interstate system that went into place, and if we look in Minnesota how it decimated North Minneapolis and the Rondeau neighborhood in St Paul We have had widening gaps in the economic fate of many people and fewer people in the middle class We've seen federal cuts in housing, education, social services

We've seen mass incarceration and the war on drugs Then, I think, we need to really acknowledge the passage of the Welfare Reform Act in 1996, which set both this idea of personal responsibility and also a five year limit on benefits No one has much of a stomach for going back to changing welfare as we once knew it, but it's had immense implications in our field of caring for families Then, finally, no child left behind which has put pressure on education for outcomes We have seen, I think, pushing kindergarten readiness into the pre-K world and more rigorous instruction for little ones who then often get expelled because they can't sit still

So, we do not have a developmental approach there So, then into this mix came this changing political landscape where we shifted from the Minnesota Miracle of 1971, where investing in the common good, Minnesota was viewed as a generous state Then, we began to move into more of a push for less government spending and greater pressure on efficiencies and so forth Then, in the early 2000s in Minnesota, we saw tens of millions of dollars cut from child care assistance program, from children's mental health, from home visiting It was a huge time of retrenchment and cutting back

At the same time, societal changes have happened so that our families do not resemble the families of 60 or 50 years ago Our economy, how people work, we have much more shift work, we have much more uneven schedules and that has raised havoc on a number of levels Then, in addition, we have an increasingly diverse population So, within that, then I'm just going to acknowledge changing funding patterns This makes me sound like a dinosaur but in the olden days, you could count on some funding to be in place and one part of it was that United Way philanthropy where we had many more corporate funders that did general operating grants were the norm

And so you could start a program and you could also see it continue I used to know or pung in the Department of Corrections that philanthropy would create an innovation and if it works, Department of Corrections would would institutionalize it Those arrangements have shifted As we've seen, changes in how federal government spending comes into Minnesota, how corporations have wanted, we want to see some results and that changes how funding patterns have evolved in the private sector So, this is what I call post-traumatic stress disorder and agencies, you could call it post-traumatic agency disorder

But systems are made up of people and people are like brains Brains can only take so much stress before they can't learn, they shut down It's the same area of the brain So, we have a lot of organizations that have been under siege for years and they have also been instructed not to collaborate in some of the prior administrations So, trauma has led to a turf protection feeling

I'm so heartened by the conversations we've had this morning that there's really some effort to start of, "Let's get some more oxygen going here" But we also have to keep our eye on the pressures for demands for tighter regulations and accountability There are more time limited projects to prove effectiveness We've also seen that we've had to create new alliances to capture scarce resources So, it's been a challenging era, and I think it's a context we really need to acknowledge because the competition piece that exists when you have scarce resources and the anxiety of funders, is it going to make a difference, creates great pressure

So, this is one of my favorite So, for those of you who can't read that, I would share but I'm not there developmentally So, I think, we have to remember we've got a little bit of arrested development what's happened So, we have some bottom lines We're left with some chronic underfunding

We have a patchwork of programs, and we have some conflicting Now, I have to look at what slide I'm on, don't mind me This is the Jane Kretzmann, does she have her slides in order moment? But anyway, we have systems that are making the effort but as the OLA reports, the conflicting rules, the confused families, people get that we have problems But we also have a sense, and we have a sense of urgency that what we now know is influencing what we need to do This is a slide that's coming up that talks about how our human capacities develop

The left end is two-year olds and the right end is 70-year olds So, I can tell you, I can't do PowerPoints and God knows why now, but the amount of effort that's required So, at the same time, it also speaks to our public policies, and where do we need to be investing That's been one of the big challenges, I would say, for the elders; is looking at how do we factor in this reality We have a historical understanding of education that came out of the fact that Minnesota has had a long commitment

We also have, I think, and in 1858, actually, that's when the Minnesota legislature established the public school education In 1933, they established the first state income tax where proceeds went to support public schools across the state But this historic education understanding is based on old understanding of education, which is that schools were the start of education Reading was when education started Education was about transmission of information, not about teaching kids to think

It was about, how do you show up in the factory, how do you make sure you're not ripped off, so you got to know your math Then, we put a high value on college We rewarded higher academic, what should I call it, higher academic learning, and we rewarded it with pay and status So, this next slide is really about if we think about the publication of Neurons to Neighborhoods that happened in 2000, the beginning, the dawn of the 21st century And in that what we saw is that education is actually turned upside down, and that learning begins before birth and that our investments need to be around supporting families and supporting young babies in their development as young children

Remember, this is very threatening because A, not one of us I would say in this room, well maybe there probably are people in this room, forget that There are a number of us in this people who raised our kids without understanding brain development I mean we, God knows I wish I could do it again But, nonetheless we have learned things in the last 15-20 years and that they put Galileo on house arrest for a year because he challenged the understanding of the scientific order of things So, we have to understand that later learning now is based on early learning and biology is paramount in development, and stress in parents as well as in children creates biological capacity for learning

The social relational order is most important and that early development is really, really important So, there's work going on to change that but it's going to mean we're going to have to kill some sacred cows, as I call it But, if you'll take a look at this, this is one of my favorite postcards I call it Minnesota Shadow but it's the dark underbelly of Minnesota, if you can't read that, that's Babe, the blue axe So he is my sacred cow

But it's helpful for us to remember that Minnesota has a lot of light and we also have shadow And one of those shadows is that we have had a hard time dealing with the other human nature perhaps, but striking and persistent are the disparities for Native Americans, African-Americans and I would say more recently we certainly are seeing even a louder negative narrative around refugees and immigrants that we have to acknowledge I worked in refugee and immigrant work, and Minnesota did not carry the guilt that it's carried and the unacknowledged tensions around African-American, Native American history with refugees and immigrants But our state would not have grown without immigration in the 1990s So we have to remember that engagement and inclusion is paramount to our success

So here's a quote by Wendell Berry, "The past is our definition We may strive with good reason to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it" So, it's into this mix that we have heard earlier this morning from the Office of Legislative Auditor and we thank Jody Hauer for her work on this and the many people After thinking what has happened through these past 40 years, I mean one's left with sort of this idea of no wonder we have the patchwork that we have No wonder we have the confusion that we have

And no wonder system leaders and communities are struggling So, we tried to just say, "Well, what were the seven things?" Streamline, identify, centralize, assess, share data, screen, evaluate And we need to say that we understand Our summary is that there is this need to push for more data, accountability is highly valued by policymakers The recommendations focus on creating data collection systems and the frustrations of the Office of Legislative Auditor are understandable because there is no standardized data

We have a lot locally collected and it's not comparable We know that we have a system that exists at many levels of government, we've seen this and we've seen many programs dismantled I'd like to talk a little bit at some point about early childhood family Ed, simply because it was one of the programs that was started by actually a legislator I think in the 60s,70s and then established by the legislature From the early 2000s, for 10 years there was no statewide director of ECFE That is neglect, that is Governor and Government neglect

So today, we have a system of ECFE that is criticized and yet there are people that are working on ECFE 20 But I think we've got it, I want us to at some point with time we have talk a little bit about that The thing we also want to say is a given from our 40 years of plus experience, is that data collection systems are expensive to develop I'm going to go up to this one which is some of the challenges and these were things that the elders talked about

I call this the fine print because it is the fine print, and one is that Medicaid won't accept mires numbers Now, maybe I wish you well, I hope it can work but please keep that in mind, child outcomes are extremely difficult to measure One, because we know development is complex; two, because we know in the research for example, that attachment is one of the great predictors of social emotional regulation which is necessary for learning Well in that, you can find researchers who can assess attachment but there is no such measure right now at a practice level Kindergarten Readiness, I'm reminded spans one whole year

You could have a kid who is just turning five in August and a kid who turned almost six in July because parents redshirted the kindergartner So a kindergartner is a kindergartner, but a kindergartner is a wide range of preparation To hold a system accountable for kindergarten readiness is very tricky Finally, I would say that a safety net that undergirds all of the early childhood programs as it's been referenced earlier, housing, all of these other things; it's shredded and so it's very hard for families to access child care when they don't have predictable resources So we ask, "How much of scarce financial and human resources should be spent on data collection?" This is a bigger question

Or asked another way, "How much should be spent on direct services that support families?" And again, thinking about how does this work from the earlier conversations and presentations, that one possible approach to the quandary is what are three outcomes that are most important by age three for young children, for their families? And an answer to that, that won't look the same in every community, but that may help in thinking about what kind of information needs to be collected So what will it take for Minnesota's to lead the way to a new future? We have to be conscious of unintended consequence We know that, I'm just going to say it, I don't have it on my slide but we know that universal pre-K, put through the public schools even though we say it's a diverse delivery network, has compromised childcare in family settings One, why? Because toddlers and four year olds subsidize the infants If you don't have that in your business model, you cannot make it work

So a lot of families have moved their kids into universal school-based programs and that has compromised the financial viability of child care So that's where at least some of the deserts are coming from Then, I think we need to look at this idea of, "Do we evaluate to improve programs or prove effectiveness?" Now it's not necessarily an either or, but we've got to look at where did kids start, and where did they come out So we have to look at that and then we believe that we need to invest in this capacity of the current and new workforce to apply the new science of child development There are some very, very, very hopeful things about that

We have to add resources that support families and then we have to apply a lens that's culture, science and families first So everybody's contribution counts, and the elders are still at it I mean, we aren't done yet, but we're getting closer than done but I want to call out a couple of things and one is that, the book "The opposable mind", I think we'll send some things out on the list serve but it's, how to integrate thinking? So we have vastly different opinions right now and somehow we've got to find a way to come together around this new science and around the possibilities And then I'm going to also do a quick shout out for a couple things One is, Judy Shoemaker's new book called "Terrific Toddlers", and then to talk about you see up here the parchment papers

The deal is, the elders said, "Well, we should write some white papers" Then we went oh! It's just white people writing white papers and then we went and we're just old white people So then we thought, "Well, wrinkly paper Why not parchment?" So, I give that to Glenn and so we're really looking at how can we help keep people thinking Experience is a bitter teacher but it's also I think relevant and all of you have experience that has to come into this as well, and we have to find ways that we have these conversations and do our best

So, I think that's it and we're going to have questions I get to sit down All right I'll take my place and the elders I'd like to invite Senator Wiklund who's, thank you, already on your way back up here

Kelly Monson, Atanday, if you'd like to come back up Jane, if you'd like to bring up any of your colleagues Glen is going to come up [inaudible] Yeah, and if anyone's here from the first segment and would also, we have a lot of chairs or I could give up my space, the microphone

But now we are going to once again open up the Florida questions There is a past mic over there in the corner So, If you'd like to ask a question, just raise your hand We'll run the mic over to you so that the folks who are watching on the live stream can hear your question Representative Pinto

Thank you So, I was going to ask this earlier but this actually seems like a really nice and even nicer context When we had the presentation from the OLA, I feel like for many of us talking about public policy in early childhood, we think about programs and I understood what Kelly said, that the effort for early childhood systems reform was not to look at individual programs but how they connect but that effort really ended up driving to some much broader issues in terms of structural racism, affordable housing, issues that people may not think right away are public policy issues solving early childhood and so I wonder if and you can comment, I'm trying to think about how exactly to elicit what I'm looking for here, but I think for many of us, we come into this not thinking in those terms and yet a lot of the work ends up driving those ways Certainly, many of Jane's slides got to that about the family context, if you can talk about the importance in our work in policy around early childhood about actually viewing that as being policy about families, who have children, and to think and to be thinking about that more broadly in the process of doing that may be in anyways, so everyone will take that Thank you

I guess what I would say to that in reaction and I'm looking at Tracy Roloff in that audience right now But that really came about because we asked families that group making up that early childhood systems reform steering committee where families, where folks like Tracy said with lived experience and so where we thought that maybe it was going to come in at programs, they were the ones saying this is not about programs, this is about families and supporting our families, and it's not our families that are broken, it's our system that is broken How do you turn this on? If you just start speaking it should Just start talking Okay

So, one of the things that I would just add is that one in four of all children in the United States and I suspect it's true here is on the child support program, which is one of the programs that includes fathers and Glen can talk about, Glen Palm can talk about that too But we need to be thinking more holistically about that and we also need to be thinking about Department of Corrections, because of the number of incarcerated adults who are parents and what is that doing to families So, I think that's another part of that One of the things I think that gets in the way of our progress is we tend to think that Minnesota is a wonderful place for children, and it no longer is Used to be and we compare ourselves to other states rather than to other developed countries in Europe and other parts of the world

So, affordable housing, an ecosystem that helps to raise and develop infants and toddlers is really needed and affordable housing is a piece of that Paid family leave is a piece of that, and we're one of the few countries in the world that doesn't have a system There's a great proposal out there It would really alleviate the need for a lot of infant child care that's marginal It's really hard to do infant child care

So, I think we have to get out from under the sense that Minnesota is a wonderful place and say it's an average place where we're all doing our best and then start to build the ecosystem that's needed to raise infants and toddlers Could you just introduce yourselves real quickly? We have a couple of folks here up at the table who haven't I'm Jim Nicolai I am with the Elders for Infants Thank you

Glenda Said, also with Elders Glen Palm also with Elders Just so you all know who you're are asking questions to So, do we have some other questions for our panel here? I will ask my generic question to the Elders for Infants What are the two or three most important things the next legislative session ought to address in terms of concrete legislation? Oh, I don't know, you want to take it? Go for it

Two or three things Boy, I think you've caught me off guard because we haven't come to that I think we've looked at where, you know, what the auditor's report said and one of the things I think that we're reflecting on is that in all the policy proposals that are made, one of the things that I hear is nothing about resources, and more about asking people to do more and when you're asking people to do more, it's not just the people who are at the State departments that we're asking to do more but you're asking the people who work every day with the children to do more in terms of the assessment and accountability without any resources to do that Jane had already mentioned what happened to the system that we did have in place in early childhood family that was really doing a magnificent job of showing who we were serving and now we don't even have that anymore So, I think that we need to- one of the things we'll need to do is look at resources

The other thing that we don't hear much about is the workforce that takes care of the children So, as we think about bigger issues, I don't have any low hanging fruit, Todd, that I could say, boy, if we do this, it's going to fix things I think that the problems and as Jane pointed out, they are significant, the equity issues have been there for a long time When we look at things like assessment and doing research, 30 years ago, somebody came to Minnesota to look at ECFE programs, an expert, national expert and said, "Basically, we're better off spending the money on programs than we are on assessment" So, I think that we've tried to raise some questions about what should we do with that

We have all this capacity to collect data these days, but we don't often ask the questions and that's what Jane got to at the end What are the really important things that we should keep track of? We can keep track of everything, we have that capacity But it's costly and we don't always know what to do with it Thank you I agree with all of that, and I just wanted to add that I think the elders have really tried to think as systemically as possible in our conversations and Jane's example of how pre-kindergarten programs actually create a penalty for support for infant and toddler care is a nice example of really needing to make sure we do depth analysis that helps us to identify a few more of those unintended consequences before we make large scale changes in systems

All of the reports that we've had and I've seen a lot of reports over the years, these are excellent ones But they really aren't dealing with resources and budgets, and the bottom line is what are we investing in infants and toddlers and their families so that we get the results that's needed for school readiness so that we get the equity that we all desire? So, I think these reports are good in terms of what's being organized and how the various systems are working together But what's really needed is some courage from the governor and the legislature in terms of appropriating funds The wealth of infants and toddlers is the time and affection of their caregivers, and that's been stripped over the years as women have gone to work but not been compensated for their work so that they could, in turn, pay somebody to do the work of raising children So, we've got to right that wrong and invest heavily in infants and toddlers

We had a question over here So, I'm going to start with the question but then follow up with a couple of observations that inform my question So, the general question is, how can partnering with universities in a better way help with some of this work? Here are my two observations Yes, I would like to see a lot more money going into direct service than into assessment and yet without the data, we would not see the clear data that show the disparities, and without seeing that clear data, we will not have motivation to look at the systemic issues that are causing those So, data is important

So, how can universities be help with that? One of the things that I think is a- I'm going to be political for a minute, but I think one of the obstacles that we face at Saint Thomas is that Minnesota does not allow private universities to be title for programs If we had more universities that could offer title for, it would be helpful for the whole state Well, as a policy maker I certainly would like to have more access to information I agree that if we don't have data to look at in terms of programs and their effectiveness it makes it hard for us as decision makers to know where to prioritize and how to prioritize And I hope that if I was remiss in my remarks and not emphasizing enough that we need more additional resources in the system

I completely agree if we are developing any type of recommendation for either enhancing our data collection efforts or work on programs, we need to fund them adequately and we need to address the compensation of the people who are caring for our children We see how vital that work is so that's going to be something that I am bringing to the conversation when I'm working on proposals I think that what people can do like yourselves is bring to us the information that highlights areas of disparities and if the universities can help us with that is all the better to get more researchers or more information to us The process to do that I guess is not necessarily straight-forward and you need individual legislators to decide to get involved in it and to take that information in And that's not always, I mean, it's not a consistent process so I think we have to keep working on that

Question right there Hi Is this on? One of the recurring themes I hear is a lot about one, result driven projects that sort of come back with results we feel competent are improving the lives of our citizens Two, the resources needed And then three, managing this amount of large data that would be hard to do all of this and the resources to do it

In places like New Jersey and Tennessee where they've incorporated large companies like Google, Facebook who do this and are hoping to maximize their algorithms and their way to generate data and create outcomes Does the Minnesota, or are there organizations here in Minnesota that are working or reaching out to these organizations some of this as we obviously live in a state that has a lot of large health technology companies, is there anyone here that would be interested in being in a partnership with our local government or organizations to pioneer this stuff? I don't know who that goes to? We're all looking at each other I guess from a legislative perspective I'd certainly be open to hearing more about making use of expertise that already exists We don't want to necessarily reinvent what we're doing In any case, we don't have the luxury to do that so I think if there are people who are doing similar work that we can make use of that would be helpful

I think the early, just in terms of one area that Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System is there is a really great foundation We did get federal money to help us develop that and we need to put the resources into how to move that forward So if that could be helped by working with industry to help us do that more efficiently I think that would be a positive thing Any other? There's one in the back there

One of the things that drew me to attend these forums is the title Prenatal to Three We can't focus on children unless we start at conception We lose nine months of physical, mental and psychological development if we don't start with prenatal then can we please stop calling babies zeros Zero to three drives me crazy If we want to say birth to three that's good with me but babies aren't zeros

So we need to focus on prenatal help, maternal health, mental health for moms who are pregnant We lose so much time if we don't Also, one thing that we have that is preventable, that we have to focus on, is fetal alcohol syndrome Some years ago when I was working on a committee that one of this, for the same, was that the statistics, 70 percent of the children in foster care suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome Well, of course they have behavioral problems

They have brains that are very badly affected by alcohol prenatally and then their families can't handle the behaviors and then they're taken away from their families, hopefully placed with families who can handle their behaviors But those kids have so many strikes against them from prior to birth We have to focus on that That is preventable and we have to convince people not to drink during pregnancy I don't know if you want me to respond to that Judy but one thing that I would say is that, so I used to work at Minnesota association for fetal alcohol syndrome and so that's very near and dear to my heart

And I get really excited when I am part of initiatives like the P to three, Prisco initiative because they have Sarah Messel at the table who's the executive director of Mo Pass and we are bringing them in because we recognize that importance I can follow up really briefly We're still developing what our policy platform will look like But I think a big piece is bringing folks to the table who have their minds, hearts and eyes on these issues that are so important To Cayley's point Mo Pass' at our table and I think what we've done in last week was really identified some areas that are so paramount but have been difficult to address through our work so far and wanting to keep those central to our focus as far as we develop these policy platforms, how do we address those

So this is maybe to your point also to David's question at the beginning, it's really one of those would be mental health, toxic stress, historical trauma Understanding children within the context of their communities and their families and just the entire approach, how do we address the entire context? Equity as how do we really make it real and what does it look like when we try and actualize equity So those are some of the things that have come up in our conversations in our PM three policy initiative planning spaces It's my job to make sure that we continue to address it and make sure it stays front and center I think that's part of the reason why we chose to adopt the Early Childhood Systems or Forum Vision because it was very clear about identifying our children and our babies who are most marginalized and have the greatest to achieve, to get to where the rest of us are as being central to our focus and so that's something I should say I'm facilitating these meetings though that's something that I've committed to keeping our planning group focused on

So, hopefully I'll continue to be a part of it Okay We have time for one very quick question Yes, and I see you have the microphone So, I'm Dr

Sylvia Seacon I'm a pediatrician with health partners and I was at the Mo Pass benefit in May and one number that really stuck in my head is 1 of 20 children in this state has fetal alcohol syndrome, 1 out of 20 And we're looking at legalizing marijuana There's going to be a huge push because it's all about money And a lot of young women who are pregnant and nauseated, smoke marijuana because it helps with their nausea and they don't want to take any drugs that might interfere with the fetus but they think marijuana is a natural thing because it comes out of the ground And so, we have a potential another drug impact on the developing fetus and we really need to be aware of this and this group should have the Mo Pass people speaking to raise awareness and spread the word out into the broader community

Thank you for that Okay, let's thank our panel Just for a quick wrap up, I'm going to invite up, looks like Senator Relph is coming first this time Well, again thank you all for being here A couple of thoughts and as I sat here listening to this

First of all, I want to thank the people who brought up the fetal alcohol syndrome issue This is something that's been very near and dear to me I've authored legislation to try and help in both the post problem and that is dealing with children with that, and also to try and improve the situation in terms of prenatal care I think that is a message we have to get out that this is something that children need a clean start and that's not a clean start, so just something I'm very glad that came up An observation, I think data, I'm a big data person, but I think we have to be careful when we look at data and why are we collecting it? What is its ultimate purpose? I think that's something that I think maybe hone in on a little bit as we go forward

I thank the legislative auditor for their work on just identifying these issues and the problems But I think as we go forward in terms of data collection, we probably want to have a clearer focus on why are we collecting the data? What it is we expect it to show us? Then how do we actually manage it? So, I think those are things we need to think very carefully about, but I do think data is going to be critical as we go forward because as, and I'm sorry Jane, I just total mind blank, as you indicated, we're in a changing environment Families are no longer spending the kind of time with their children that they used to because we have two worker families, the stresses As a result of this change in environment, we need to look at, and I think you pointed that out very well We need to look at what it is we are actually intending to do, to try and help with that lack of parental involvement at the early age

I read to my kids and my wife and I tried to share and we didn't work full time even though we had to sacrifice some things for that But as a society, we have to recognize that that may be the reality If that's the reality then we have to look at what we need to do to supplement in the earliest ages that's zero to, I'm sorry, that birth to three What we need to do to supplement and to replace that opportunity for nurturing that took place between the parents and the child when that child was very young I think that the other thing that I'm left with here, is that we need to have a better system of measurement of how a child is progressing, and I think that should start at a very early age, I'm very in favor of early visiting and then home visits from people who are knowledgeable in the area, nurses that sort of thing

I believe that's a very important aspect But we need to develop and recognize measurements of the readiness as a child goes forward It's not just readiness for kindergarten, I think it's readiness for being in society I think early language skills are a very important measure We need to standardize these and try to focus on the ones that will give us the best results, so we can design our programs

Right now we have a just a real shotgun of programs, 40 programs Personally, I don't believe we need that many I think if we had focused programs that had clear measurements, we would be able to provide better delivery of services at a lower cost which would give us more flexibility in being able to go forward So, those are things that I look at as we go forward and again, I want to thank the group is gathered here, I think it's important There's a lot of fine minds here and I think we need to continue to collaborate and continue this, I thank the Elders for Infants for getting this started and keeping the momentum alive

So, thank you all and thank you for coming So, a couple of thank you's then a final thought So, to build on with Senator Relph If the Elders for Infants, all those who are part of that group could just could stand please and just be recognized We've got a few folks here, going on the back, all right, thanks

I'm sure we're missing a few These folks are, I think of them as they're the avengers of early childhood They are all superheroes, I like to think I'm the Samuel L Jackson of the group, but anyway that's the whole thing This event is generally is put on a lot of my constituents and of course, that's why I want to say thank you to the Dean and to the school of social work, St

Thomas Jessica Griffith sitting in the front here constituent helps pull this together Krish Subramanian, I'm not sure if he's still here, but there is another constituent who helps out Is he over in this direction? Oh! There he is in the back, yeah My constituent an intern Claire Matthews Lincoln has been taking pictures in a cold day, out of mostly my legislative assistant

So, a final thought about this So, two years ago, we are the first of these forums, the event consisted entirely of presentations by early childhood coalitions presenting on their policy plans We typically have a mini version of that at the end of each of the forums We didn't do that today in part because of course, after legislative session, elections coming up etc But I think it's notable that you can see that we've got this effort Atanday talked about, in trying to become I don't know if she used this phrase but a coalition of coalitions, trying to build an agenda coming forward

At the same time we know that the gubernatorial, we are going to have a new administration coming in, and we've got this tremendous work that's been done by the Office of Legislative Auditor and then also by the Early Childhood Systems Reform I think we're increasingly seeing the connections among each of our work, those of us working in healthcare and working in child care and working a number of areas Then we're starting to see the expansion that actually this really connects with mental health with affordable housing, and with families economic, security, paid family leave and other issues It is critical that we continue this work together, that we as it says on the back of the agenda, that we share our plans, that we build our knowledge as we're doing that we build relationships So, I'm thrilled that we've had these past two years together doing these events

The next one is October 10th, save the date in the morning Wednesday October 10th Let's continue to go out together and build a great future for our younger Minnesotans and for all of us So, many thanks everybody Thank you

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