Policy Resource

Minnesota Develops Prenatal to Three Framework and Logic Model

Feb 9, 2016

One of the key features of the framework is a set of desired outcomes in health, education, well-being, and systems for children ages prenatal through three, their families, and their communities.

In 2012, the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet appointed the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to lead the creation of a plan for improving the health and well-being of children during their first three years of life, beginning with prenatal care. The goal was to eliminate health disparities based on race, ethnicity, and geography by taking a comprehensive approach to services that includes communities, parents, educators, health care providers, government partners, and others invested in the health and well-being of children. Stakeholders involved in the process began by developing a Prenatal-Age Three Framework, which is intended to be a roadmap for future action agreed upon by the Children’s Cabinet, state agencies, the Early Learning Council, and other stakeholders. One of the key features of the framework is a set of desired outcomes in health, education, well-being, and systems for children ages prenatal through three, their families, and their communities. Indicators were identified to track each outcome, a process which included many discussions to build consensus so that indicator definitions were clearly understood and agreed upon across agencies.

After the Framework was developed MDH held a series of community meetings across the state to engage the public in development of policy recommendations to improve outcomes and reduce disparities for infants, toddlers, their families, and their communities. Using a world café model, groups discussed four questions: what are the common points of toxic stress within our region, how can we prevent the pile up of chronic and toxic stress on babies, how do we currently build the skills of adults in our region, and how can we work smarter and how can our policies better support our families and communities.

Stakeholders’ input was integrated into development of A Healthy Start for Minnesota Children: Supporting Opportunities for Life-Long Health, a theory of change that depicts how public understanding, health in all policies, and community innovation lead to 1) safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments and 2) social and economic security, which in turn will help the state achieve its ultimate outcome—that every Minnesota child, prenatal to age three years, will thrive in their family and community and achieve their full potential regardless of their race, where they live, or their family’s income. This theory of change is being used to help people across various state agencies, community organizations, and families see how they can promote stronger outcomes for young children and families in the state.

Learn more about the prenatal to three planning process and view the Framework at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/cfh/program/pto3/.

Minnesota,s work is highlighted in ZERO TO THREE’s publication A Place to Get Started: Innovation in Infant and Toddler State Policies. Read the full brief at http://www.zerotothree.org/public-policy.

Updated February 2016

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