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Strong Beginnings

Strong Beginnings childcare centers deliver high-quality early childhood services. Through an agreement with Hennepin County and Minnesota Department of Human Services, the childcare centers have in place services and support not required at other childcare centers.

Strong Beginnings childcare centers serve an average of 1,200 children annually.

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Childcare centers delivering Strong Beginnings programming agree to specific program components that are in addition to Parent Aware rating and NAEYC accreditation. The constellation of these Strong Beginnings program components were evaluated and found that children showed developmental gains, increased kindergarten readiness, and increased family engagement.

Strong Beginnings program components

The program has received a 4-star Parent Aware rating for early childhood services.

65% of enrolled children are low-income, special needs, and/or in foster care.

The program includes culturally responsive childcare practices, such as representative staffing, using children’s first language, and culturally relevant environment

There is a higher staff-to-child ratio than required by state licensing.

We hold the belief that parents are their child’s first teacher. A Family Coordinator greets, engages, and assists families with participating in their child’s education and accessing services as needed.

The program holds twice-annual assessments of physical, social and emotional well-being. A Child Development Specialist assists teachers in developing child-specific goals based on assessments, and directs the center’s curriculum planning.

There is a child-specific transition plan to kindergarten. The Child Development Specialist coordinates services with the local school district and the transition to kindergarten.

There is ongoing staff training and coaching with a focus on trauma, building social-emotional skills, strategies for working with challenging behaviors, practices for culturally responsive care, and empowering parents to become full partners in their child’s education.

In 1990, community early childhood professionals and Hennepin County staff convened to address the needs of children in inner-city, low-income families. The group analyzed national data on quality early childhood programs and identified 18 childcare program components believed to have a positive impact on low-income children and their families.

In 1992, Hennepin County contracted with five childcare centers to implement the positive-impact identified program components into a strategy called “Strong Beginnings.”

In 2000, Hennepin County completed an evaluation of the Strong Beginnings programs and found that children showed developmental gains, increased kindergarten readiness, and increased family engagement. As a result, Hennepin County expanded the program to eight more childcare providers. A second evaluation in 2004 found that the Strong Beginnings providers continued to demonstrate the same successes.

Today, the Strong Beginnings model continues with the same core components, which include developmentally appropriate curriculum, knowledgeable childcare professionals, small class sizes and teacher to child ratios, systemic efforts to engage parents in their child’s development and education, and assistance with meeting the non-educational needs of the child and family.

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Map: Turnquist Childcare Center
1800 NE 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55418


Anew Dimension Child Enrichment Center

Map: Anew Center
1819 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404


Baby’s Space: A Place to Grow

Map: Baby’s Space
2438 18th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404


Catholic Charities (Northside Child Development Center)

Map: Northside Child Development Center
1000 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411


La Crèche Early Childhood Centers

North Center

Map: North Center
1800 Olson Memorial Highway, Minneapolis, MN 55411


  • 612-377-1786

La Crèche II Center

Map: La Crèche II Center
1120 Oliver Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411


People Serving People (Center of Excellence)

Inside Lutheran Social Services – The Center for Changing Lives

Map: Center of Excellence
2400 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404


The Family Partnership

Four Directors Family Center

Map: Four Directors Family Center
2438 18th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404


  • 612-722-0762

Therapeutic Education Preschool Program for Children/Children’s First Early Learning Center

(Multicultural Therapeutic Children’s Programs)

Map: Children’s First Early Learning Center
1501 Xerxes Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411


YWCA of Minneapolis (Children's Center at Midtown)

Map: Midtown YWCA
2121 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407


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