ST. PAUL, MINN. – School readiness programs across the state help young children ages 3 to kindergarten with a wide variety of skills. From social-emotional development to literacy and language skills these programs prepare thousands of young kids for elementary school. Senator John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids) introduced a bill this year that would increase funding to these programs. On Thursday the Senate’s E-12 supplemental bill was released that included $4.5 million for Sen. Hoffman’s programming.
“These school readiness programs are vital for all kids. Assessments of students who participated in school readiness programs show proven and dramatic results. We know these programs work and I’m glad to see further funding for them across the state,” said Sen. Hoffman.
A priority for additional funding of the school readiness programs is involving parents in their child’s learning. According to the Minnesota Department of Education research has shown that early childhood programs that involve parents and children working together are more effective than programs that only focus on the child. Research also shows that involving families early encourages parents to play a more active role throughout their child’s education. Students can qualify for school readiness programs through a number of eligibility factors including age, family income, being an English language learner or having an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Also included in the supplemental bill released this week is $12 million for early learning scholarships that will help low-income families pay for early education programs. An additional $11.9 million increase was added into the Early Childhood Family Education program.
“This money will directly lead to more young Minnesota children getting the early childhood education they need in order to succeed later on down the road. Additionally, the Early Childhood Family Education program has not seen an increase in a long time, this is welcome news for families across the state with young kids,” said Sen. Hoffman.