The Birth to Age Eight Collaborative assures children reach key developmental milestones from birth to age eight by bringing together schools, nonprofits and Dakota County Community Services.
Who is involved?
Dakota County works with local school districts and the community to shape the vision for the Birth to Age Eight program.
The program is currently available to anyone living in these four school districts:
- South St. Paul (6)
- Burnsville-Eagan-Savage (191)
- West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan (197)
- Inver Grove Heights (199)
We plan to expand the program to other districts soon.
The milestones tracked include:
- Age-specific development in areas like problem-solving, communication, motor skills, and social and emotional skills (from birth through age 5)
- Early childhood screening and kindergarten readiness results
- Reading proficiency
Connecting children and families to resources
The Birth to Eight program aims to work with families to make sure children are developing on track to help ensure future health and success. Research shows that children who are reading at grade level by the end of third grade are more likely to graduate from high school. This leads to a greater chance of economic success and socioeconomic mobility and stability. It emphasizes the importance of improving academic readiness and health outcomes early in life.
By enrolling in Birth to Eight, you will be able to monitor how your child is growing in important areas related to health and school readiness. This is the only program around that also allows the county and your school district to see these outcomes and work together for your child's success.
Read more about the initiative
2019 Star Tribune article
Read about how we track kid’s progress and connect families to resources.
Read the article.
2017 NACo national report
A new Futures Lab report,
Counties Care: County Service Sharing for Early Childhood Development, by the National Association of Counties (NACo) Counties, shows how counties provide high-quality services to children and families by sharing service provision with partners.
Read the full report or jump to Dakota County’s section online.
An award-winning initiative
Dakota County has received the following awards for this initiative:
2018 Model Practices designation from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO): This means the initiative demonstrates exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a local public health need and reflects a strong local health department role, collaboration, innovation, and has demonstrated its value through evaluation.
2017 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo): The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents.
2016 Local Government Innovation Award from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs: The awards recognize the creative ways counties, cities, townships and schools are making Minnesota better and doing things differently.