KAALtv.com

Early Childhood Agency Proposed

Posted at: 03/04/2013 9:45 PM
Updated at: 03/04/2013 10:38 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Last week President Obama urged congress and local governments to improve early childhood education, saying more emphasis needs to be placed on getting kids ready for kindergarten.

And now Minnesota lawmakers are responding with a dramatic new proposal.

 new bill introduced in the Minnesota senate on Monday would drastically change the way state agencies address early childhood issues.
    
Mostly because they wouldn't have to.

Lawmakers have proposed creating a brand new Department of Early Care and Education to handle all kinds of early childhood programs that are currently handled by the health, education, and human services departments.

That would include things like the head start program, family education programs, and child care.

Fans of the idea say having a single dedicated agency will help make sure the kids aren't forgotten.

“Anytime you can centralize an agency and have people that are just focused on that and not lots of other things, I think it can only be beneficial to the program and the kids," said parent and former Head Start employee Joelle Voth.

The bill still has a long way to go, but if approved, the new department would open later this year.