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Keith Hovis, 651.582.8275,

Commissioner Cassellius to Highlight Early Childhood Investments in Chaska

ROSEVILLE – Tomorrow, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will continue her statewide tour visiting early learning programs to meet with families benefiting from Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature’s $40 million investment in early learning scholarships.

In 2013, Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature invested to expand access to high-quality early learning opportunities for children throughout Minnesota. Families that qualify have access to up to $5,000 per scholarship. MDE estimates that 4,000 scholarships per year will be awarded to families with young children throughout the state.

“Early learning scholarships will give our children the quality education they deserve, and upon which their future success will depend,” said Governor Dayton. “This money is very well spent. Children and families in Chaska, and thousands more across Minnesota, will benefit from the early learning opportunities that these scholarships provide.”

Commissioner Cassellius will visit the New Beginnings program in Chaska, which offers support to pregnant and parenting teens who are working toward earning their high school diploma. This unique program combines core academic instruction with parenting education and high quality on-site child care.

Commissioner Cassellius will visit the facility and hold a meeting with staff and families to hear about the impact of the early learning scholarships as well as what is going well in early education and what can be strengthened.

“There is no denying the importance of a strong start to a child’s education and districts and programs across the state are stepping up to provide rich learning opportunities for our youngest Minnesotans,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “I look forward to hearing from Minnesotans about what is working and how the state can better support them in their work.”