Minnesota has improved its systems that serve children and families in 33 ways over the past two years, according to a new report from Action for Children.
Among the 33 improvements, First Steps: Kids Can't Wait 1994 Progress Report mentions an increase in funding to expand early childhood family education programs and the creation of the Children's Cabinet consisting of commissioners from 11 state agencies as some of the important actions that have been taken for Minnesota's children. It also cites the passage of the Recognition of Parentage Act to help increase the number of legally identified unmarried fathers.
"A plan is effective only if it moves people to act," said Susan Carlson, Minnesota's First Lady and co-chair of Action for Children. "Judging by its results, the Kids Can't Wait strategic plan for Minnesota's children has been very successful."
Action for Children is a bipartisan, public-private group created by Governor Arne H. Carlson in 1991 to develop a vision of what children's lives should be like and recommend ways for the state to achieve that vision.
First Steps is an update of Kids Can't Wait: Action for Minnesota's Children, Minnesota's first long-range plan for children release in 1992. Kids Can't Wait includes a vision for Minnesota's children with six recommendations and 37 strategies to help shape the kind of future wanted for Minnesota's children and families.
First Steps revisits the original 37 strategies and reveals that progress has been made on 33 of them. A few of the strategies have been fully implemented.
"The leaders, teachers and parents of tomorrow are the children of today. The success of our future governments, communities and institutions will depend on the success of our children," said Susan Carlson. "Let us give our children every opportunity to succeed."