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Welcome To Early Childhood

At this page you will get updates on how the YCB & partners are working to grow the early childhood field, find valuable resources and learn about ways to get involved. The literature on early childhood continues to grow and the research is undeniable. We thank you for your interested in early childhood! 

Focus Area

The focus is to increase parents and other caregivers' access to information and resources so they can help their children be ready for school.


All Minneapolis children enter kindergarten ready to be successful in school.

Deby Ziesmer

Deby Ziesmer

Early Childhood Director & Pritzker Fellow

Phone: 763-232-8649

Please contact Deby if you have any questions or would like to collaborate on anything related to early childhood. 

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Deby Ziesmer | Early Childhood Director

Meet Deby Ziesmer our Early Childhood Director & Pritzker Fellow

Deby Ziesmer is committed to early childhood and eliminating disparities in early education by establishing strong connections with providers, colleagues, families, and the community.  She holds an M.A. in Educational Leadership, Concordia University (2012), a B.S. in Early Childhood Studies (2005), and an A.S. in Business Management, Metropolitan State University. Deby was also named a Pritzker Fellow by the Pritzker Family Foundation, National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers.  She has served on many local and national boards and committees including the accreditation council for the National Association for the Education of Young Children where she has been a member for over 15 years. Deby’s career spanned over two decades at the YWCA working to eliminate racism and empower women and girls, which has molded her beliefs in equity, celebrating diversity, and developing partnerships. She is active on The Minnesota PN-3 Coalition, The Minnesota Vision Health Task Force, and the Little Moments Count Leadership Board. In her spare time you can find Deby enjoying a rousing game of Uno with her three grandchildren or exploring the many bike trails Minnesota has to offer. 

Latest Early Childhood Activity & News

Who And What Is "Family, Friends, and Neighbor" Care?

Daycare is hard to find these days. If you're lucky enough to find day care, it's often unaffordable. So what are people doing? Many people these days are going back to family, friends, and neighbors when it comes to childcare. The State of Minnesota is helping families who are figuring things out themselves with their "Family, Friends, and Neighbors" (FFN) program. They are offering free resources and trainings. Who do you talk to about FFN? How do you get started? Below are a few videos that introduces you to FFN and their navigators. You can also always reach out to our Early Childhood Director — contact Deby Ziesmer at

Who are FFN caregivers?

What's an FFN Navigator?

Caregiver stories

Find Child Care

Minnesota Department of Human Services offers a way to look up licensing information. CLICK HERE FOR LOOKUP PAGE

United Way's 211. Calling is recommended at (651)-291-0211, but one can also search on THEIR WEBPAGE HERE

Use the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)'s search tool. CLICK HERE for accredited Early Child Care Center search tool. 

Getting A License To Be A Child Care Provider

Legally in Minnesota, you can watch the children of ONE other non-related family without needing to get licensed, nor are there training requirements. However, if you wanted to become a licensed family child care provider, you can learn more about the application process at HENNEPIN COUNTY'S SITE or call someone at 612-348-3883.