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Great Teachers Great teachers drive positive child outcomes, espe- cially in the early years when significant brain devel- opment – as much as 90% – occurs. Last year we enrolled over 8,600 individuals in professional devel- opment coursework. These individuals strengthened their skills in areas such as assessing and creating effective learning environments, understanding child development, building strong business practices, and implementing health and safety measures. The re- sult: more children are learning in caring, welcoming, safe, and secure environments. Bhutanese, Somali, Iraqi and Karen-speaking refugees from Burma (shown above) began the process of becoming Minnesota’s newest child care businesswomen, building better futures for children in their communities. With a major microenterprise grant from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, and in partnership with two nonprofit organizations (the Hmong American Partnership and CAPI), we inspired refugees to consider child care careers. Many children in Minnesota face tremendous challenges because of poverty, language, and cultural barriers. When providers like this family child care professional in our Launching Early Learners program put newly-learned theory into action, amazing things happen. Children have fun, and they learn! In program assessments schools re- mark on how well prepared the kindergartners entering school are. Participating families express astonishment at what their children are capable of. What is most exciting to us is children’s increased confidence and enthusiasm for learning. page 7