Recognizing that early care and education for young children and their families is the most important investment communities can make for the future; the foundations began the Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative in 2003. The goal of this campaign is to ensure that every young child has the best possible start toward a healthy life of learning, achieving, and succeeding.
The MIFs have helped to form 80 early childhood coalitions across greater Minnesota. This network of coalitions serves as a vehicle to advance public policy, exchange ideas, share promising practices, and create a statewide groundswell of support for young children.
Statewide surveys by Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative communities revealed that an alarming number of Greater Minnesota children are struggling with mental health issues and a striking lack of access to professional help. These surveys, national studies and heartbreaking stories prompted the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs) to launch the Minnesota Thrive Initiative in 2007.
Our goals are to shatter the mythology about early childhood mental health and build powerful community action teams that work to increase awareness, early intervention and prevention efforts among families, childcare providers, and healthcare professionals.
Regional Economic Development (RED) Group:
Based on belief that economic growth takes a group effort, the Regional Economic Development (RED) Group is a cornerstone initiative for the MIFs. The RED Group was formed in 2004 in order to advocate for regional development and realign existing systems with the ultimate goal of increasing business and workforce growth in greater Minnesota.
The RED Group is a public-private project funded by The McKnight Foundation and Blandin Foundation. More than 20 organizations participate in the initiative and include the Minnesota Initiative Foundations, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Center for Rural Policy and Development, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU), Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and other business groups, foundations, education systems, public sector agencies and nonprofits.
Visit your foundation’s website to learn more about these and other initiatives in your region.