Early Learning Coalitions co-facilitated by the Office of Early Learning
Early Learning Coalition Purpose
Child well-being indicators suggest that children who have integrated supports thrive. Relationships with family and community members, teachers and care providers, for example, can encourage a trajectory of success. These relationships provide the context through which children experience life. Early Learning Coalitions seek to integrate the relationships young children and their families have with individuals and organizations so these systems work together to impact the whole child, including their education.
Early Learning Coalitions aim to:
- Provide a facilitated space to address community concerns related to early learning and child well-being.
- Create an opportunity for SPPS OEL to participate in early learning community initiatives designed with/by, and representing, our community demographics.
- More fully understand a community’s hopes and vision for their children and families through an asset based approach.
- Foster networking opportunities for current and potential community partners.
Early Learning Coalitions:
- Look at the relationships that provide context through which children and families experience life.
- Use assets-based community development models. This differs from needs-based community development in that it focuses primarily on honing and leveraging existing strengths within a community rather than bolstering community deficiencies.
- Involve organizing the community around topics that move its members into action, and then determining and taking appropriate action.
- Believe that solutions to community concerns already exist within a community’s assets.
- Understands that efforts are more effective, and longer-lasting, when community members dedicate their time and talents to the changes they desire.
Early Learning Coalitions bring together residents, individuals, and organizations to leverage voice and impact. Use of community partners and community expertise is critical to the vitality of ELCs.
Below is a brief slideshow of a presentation from the MN Children's Defense Fund on the MN Kids Count Data Book. This opportunity was provided to all ELC members in November 2018 with an intent to foster shared knowledge and topics for dialogue. Following the presentation and dialogue, members gatherd to discuss topics impacting families with young children, focusing on both current barriers and potential solutions. These topics included housing, quality early opportunities, employment, safe communities, and wellness. Child and adult participants engaged freely.