Close Gaps By 5 is a lean nonprofit organization led by Minnesota business and community leaders championing the use of early education to prevent and narrow Minnesota’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gaps. More>
Minnesota’s achievement gaps threaten to leave scores of children unprepared for school and all that follows in life, which poses a grave long-term threat our children, society and economy. More>
Currently, 35,000 low-income Minnesota children under five are unable to afford high quality early learning programs, and are at high risk of falling into Minnesota’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gaps. Those 35,000 children must be Minnesota’s top priority.
Early Learning Scholarships target limited state funding to those kids. Scholarships were piloted from 2006-2011 and were expanded statewide, with the support of a bipartisan group of legislators and Governor Mark Dayton.
Scholarships are able to provide help to children early in life, recognizing that the achievement gap begins before age one, and that the most vulnerable children need multiple years of help in order to catch up. Scholarships guarantee that children will be benefitting from kindergarten-readiness best practices. Importantly, they’re flexible, so parents can find programs that fit their work schedule, location and culture.