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Kudos to early learning programs

I recently saw the ad in the May 12 Record that listed the 23 Becker County child care/early learning programs that volunteered to be a part of the Parent Aware rating system from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. 

I want to thank each and every one for taking part in Parent Aware. Becoming a “star-rated” program helps build the foundation for our youngest children to succeed in school and in life.

Nearly 50 percent of children in Minnesota begin kindergarten without all the skills necessary to succeed in school. This daunting gap in school preparedness costs the state approximately $860 million each year in unnecessary expenditures (special education, police, courts, prisons, health care, social services, income supports, etc.).

When parents choose a high star-rated program, they know their children are receiving the best education for kindergarten preparedness.

Kudos to these child care/early learning programs for their superior commitment to our littlest learners! — Nancy Straw, president, West Central Initiative