Vallay Varro was a founding state executive director. She now serves as the president of 50CAN.

The Minnesota Office of Early Learning Task Force is testifying before the House education committee today to recommend the creation of an Office of Early Learning. If created, the Office would be in charged with the oversight and support of early childhood policy and programs, including making sure parents have access to information about the quality of various preschool programs.

Here at MinnCAN, we’re calling for the implementation of a statewide rating system for pre-schools so that parents can make the right choice for their child. Numerous studies have demonstrated that preschool can make an enormous difference in putting children on a path to academic success—but this impact is limited to high-quality preschool programs. Our preschool and child care programs vary widely in how well they prepare children for school, but families lack the information they need to choose the best ones—and the financial support to afford them. A combination of a rating system for each provider and financial incentives to expand access to high-quality programs would go a long way in bringing better early childhood education to more Minnesota families.

Regardless of whether the Office is created, we need to commit to clearing the path to quality pre-K. Starting off on the right foot is always important, but especially when it comes to our kids’ education.


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