SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House passed HF 2292 on a 71-61 vote, which invests a historic $300 million over the next four years in learning for the youngest Minnesotans, including in early learning scholarships for more than 25,000 children. These investments will increase access to high-quality early care and learning programs for lower-income and vulnerable children (those with the highest needs) to improve school readiness and allow parents to access employment and education opportunities.
“These investments are truly a game changer for our youngest Minnesotans,” said Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul), chair of the House Children and Families Finance and Policy Committee. “Access to early learning contributes to economic stability by ensuring all children can build foundations for success in school and life.”
From birth to age five, a child’s brain develops more rapidly than at any other time in life. While genetics plays a significant role, scientific research has made clear that the quality of a child’s experiences in the first few years of life helps shape how their brain develops. These experiences have lasting impacts on their health and ability to learn and succeed in school and in life.
This bill is about making Minnesota the best state in the nation for children and families. This bill is inspired by the people and places who are asking for change, because the status quo hasn’t been working well for a very long time,” said House Majority Leader Jamie Long.
In addition to the robust investments in early education scholarships, the House and Senate included innovative provisions to help kids learn through music, teach them critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and engage parents and children in learning and brain development in their homes and at doctor visits.
“DFLers are making historic investments to support families, close our state’s unacceptable opportunity gaps, and make early care and learning more affordable and accessible,” said Speaker Melissa Hortman. “Getting our children off to a great start doesn’t just help our state in the short run, it’s a critical investment for our state’s future success. Our children are only young once. Investments now will positively impact them for the rest of their lives.”