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Welcome To Early Childhood

At this page you will get updates on how the YCB & partners are working in the growing 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 resources and information of what they need to do to 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

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

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. 

Join our Family, Friends and Neighbor Childcare Provider Resource Community!

If you care for children between the ages of 0-3 you don't want to miss this opportunity to join the new FFNCPR Facebook Community! This community is designed specifically for caregivers to share resources, encourage one another and most of all help the children & families in the city of Minneapolis thrive.

To join the email list send a request to Deb Ziesmer at


Community Partners

Generation Next

Generation Next is a coalition of civic, business and education leaders that aim to close the achievement and opportunity gaps for students of color in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

For more information click here.

NAZ Early Childhood Action Team

The NAZ is a collaboration of organizations and schools partnering with families in a geographic “Zone” of North Minneapolis to prepare children to graduate from high school ready for college.

To end multigenerational poverty within North Minneapolis have eight shared values that they use as the foundation to their program.​ To find out more information about NAZ click here.

Child Care Assistance Program Projects

Minnesota's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps make child care affordable for income-eligible families. This program is available to:

  • Families participating in Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Diversionary Work Program (DWP)
  • Families that had an MFIP or DWP case close within the last 12 months
  • Low-income families that may be eligible for the Basic Sliding Fee program

CCAP pays for child care costs for children age 12 and under as well as for special needs children up to age 14. For more information on the Child Care Assistance Program click here.

To make sure immigrant parents and youth between the ages of 0-5 feel safe during the current political climate, YCB with the help Joyce Preschool and the Volunteer Lawyers Network have provided informational videos on how to best navigate in these times. Here you will hopefully find useful tips and helpful resources.

These videos have also been translated into Spanish. 

Early Childhood Care and Education

Early Childhood Education - Minneapolis Public Schools

Provides early childhood education, outreach and partnerships in order to support and promote the healthy growth and development of children birth to age seven, to ensure school readiness and school success.

Hennepin County - Strong Beginnings Child Care

Quality child care programs in Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Public Schools - High 5

A half-day preschool program for Minneapolis children who turn four by September 1st and who will start kindergarten the following fall. Priority is given to children who qualify for free and/or reduced priced lunch.   

Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children

Enhancing the quality of professional development opportunities, supporting program improvement and NAEYC accreditation and providing advocacy for public policy change in early childhood education.

MN Child Care Resource and Referral Network

The Minnesota Child Care Resource & Referral Network provides leadership and support to a statewide system of non-profit agencies dedicated to helping families find quality child care and supporting child care providers.

Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association

Providing resources and support to licensed family child care providers.

Parent Aware

A rating tool for selecting high quality early care and education.

Think Small -Leaders in Early Learning

Works to advance quality care and education of children in their crucial early years through providing parents and providers with early care and education resources and supports.