10 Ways in 10 Days Six: Invest in Early Childhood Education

Day Six of Invest in Minnesota’s 10 Ways in 10 Days campaign features an Osseo teacher:

Gretchen Dullinger is an early childhood education teacher in the Osseo school district. She’s taught in Osseo for 11 years.

“We have programming for children ages birth to five including preschool for three- and four-year olds, Early Childhood Family Education classes, home visits, screening and more,” Gretchen says. “Children in our programs develop social, cognitive and motors skills that prepare them for kindergarten.”

Gretchen Dullinger

Gretchen adds, “There is a tremendous return on investment in these children as they move on to be successful in our elementary schools.”

Osseo’s program served 3,260 students in 2012. However, there is a waiting list of more than 150 children who are currently unable to attend because of lack of space and resources.

A large number of the students in the program qualify for free and reduced lunch, and are able to attend early childhood programs for a reduced cost or for free.

Gretchen noted that children in the school district, which includes some or all of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Corcoran, Dayton, Maple Grove, Osseo, Plymouth and Rogers, come from a variety of backgrounds and family structures.

“With additional state funding, we would be able to ensure that dozens if not hundreds of children have the skills and knowledge base to succeed in school and life,” she says.

With fair and adequate revenues we can make high-quality early childhood education options accessible for all kids.

The 10 Ways in 10 Days campaign features people from around the state who have first-hand experience with critical state services – and know their value. The campaign highlights how fairly raised revenue and state investments benefit all Minnesotans and why it’s time for policymakers to invest in prosperity for all.

-Leah Gardner

About Leah Gardner

Leah Gardner was the Minnesota Budget Project's outreach coordinator.
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