Advocating for our Community’s Youngest Kids Greater Twin Cities United Way

We believe all kids deserve a great start at life and learning. Research shows that up to 90 percent of brain development happens before age five—which makes the early years of life the most important time for kids to receive a high-quality education.

Children who meet healthy development benchmarks are more likely to be prepared for school, have stronger relationships, and ultimately have healthier, more stable, and more prosperous lives. When kids have the best start at life, our entire community benefits.

Right now, there are more than 30,000 children in our state who don’t have access to high-quality childhood care and education. That’s why, as part of the MinneMinds coalition, Greater Twin Cities United Way advocates for investments and policies that support our community’s youngest kids.

Acooa Ellis

United Way has worked with more than 100 partners to help lead MinneMinds since 2012, and Senior Vice President of Community Impact, Acooa Ellis, is the Co-Chair.

“We know the best path to a child’s success is high-quality, culturally relevant childcare and education,” said Ellis. “In fact, there’s no better investment we could make in our collective future as a state.”

Every year, MinneMinds and United Way co-lead Advocacy for Children Day, a bipartisan event at the Capitol. The day brings together parents, childcare providers, teachers, community members and kids to encourage lawmakers to make topics like early learning scholarships and home visiting integral parts of policy discussions, resulting in systems change.

To date, because of United Way’s advocacy efforts, more than 15,000 children from low-income families have been able to access high-quality early childhood programs via early learning scholarships and over 2,750 families are receiving home visiting services.

We will continue to advocate with coalitions such as MinneMinds to remove barriers that prevent equitable access to critical community needs. Please join us by visiting our advocacy page to learn more or sign up for emails to lend your voice.