Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed Tuesday, March 20, 2018 as Minnesota Initiative Foundations’ Early Childhood Day. The proclamation honors 15 years of collaboration between West Central Initiative and the five other Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs), along with community members and funding partners, to provide young children in Greater Minnesota with the best possible start toward a life of learning, achieving and succeeding.
The Minnesota Initiative Foundations formed the Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) in 2003. Thanks to a generous grant from McKnight Foundation, the MIFs helped establish 90 community and county coalitions throughout Greater Minnesota, including 10 by WCI in west central Minnesota: Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, Wilkin and the White Earth Nation. Together, the MIFs and the ECI coalitions work to ensure that every young child has the best possible start toward a healthy life of learning, achieving and succeeding.
Governor Dayton’s Proclamation reads:
Whereas: In 2003, six Minnesota Initiative Foundations established the Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative to promote high-quality early care and education for young children in Greater Minnesota; and
Whereas: Investment in our youngest children helps build bright futures for children and families, and creates significant economic benefits for Minnesota communities; and
Whereas: All children must enter school ready to succeed, and the best interest of our children must be a priority for leaders and policymakers; and
Whereas: The Minnesota Initiative Foundations have established a network of over 90 community coalitions engaging diverse stakeholders to champion high-quality early care and education, encourage leaders to create solutions to local needs, and present a unified voice to influence early childhood policy; and
Whereas: With the support of funding and community partners during the past 15 years, the Minnesota Initiative Foundations jointly raised $15.8 million, and leveraged millions of dollars more for their respective rural regions to advance early care and education strategies throughout Greater Minnesota; and
Whereas: Tens of thousands of children in Minnesota have been given strong starts to learning, achieving, and succeeding due to the contributions and shared vision of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations, funders, volunteers, community partners, and donors statewide; and
Whereas: The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations serving Greater Minnesota will continue to utilize diverse early care and education strategies to ensure that young children and their families remain at the forefront of community and legislative conversation and action.
Now, therefore, I, Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, March 20, 2018, as: Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative Day.