City Gets Boost to Address rise in behavioral problems in young children
Minneapolis to Receive Technical Assistance from National League of Cities to focus on emotional-social development
 
July 7, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS)—Today Minneapolis was selected by the National League of Cities (NLC) to participate in the City Leadership for Building an Early Learning Nation technical assistance initiative. Mayor Betsy Hodges’ Cradle to K initiative will use the assistance to combat the rise in behavioral problems occurring in preschools and kindergartens throughout the City.
 
With help from national experts provided by NLC, the Cradle to K Cabinet plans to develop a strategy to reduce behavioral problems in the City’s youngest residents by focusing on emotional and social development and mitigating exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
 
One of the Cabinet’s main goals will be to engage fathers and male caregivers at children’s earliest stages of learning. Research has shown that this engagement can have a profound effect on a child’s development.
 
“The repercussions of adverse childhood experiences are greatest between the ages of zero to three,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Therefore the best way to really bring about change and ensure that children are ready and able to learn throughout their lifetime is to tackle these problems as early as we can. That is exactly what this initiative will help Cradle to K achieve.” 
 
Exposure to ACEs—violence, verbal abuse, physical, emotional and mental abuse, neglect, mental illness, and economic instability—during children’s first years of life can impair their social-emotional development, ability to self-regulate, and succeed in school.
 
According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Education, mental health and behavioral issues are the number one reason children get suspended from school. Almost 30 percent of the students in kindergarten through fourth grade in Minneapolis were being disciplined with out-of-school suspensions.
 
Read more about Mayor Hodges’ Cradle to K initiative here.
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Published Jul 7, 2015

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