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The Minnesota Daily

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U president announces Baby’s Space day care center expansion

WKinzie Foss With a plate full of ravioli, peas and applesauce, University President Robert Bruininks sat down for lunch Monday with six toddlers at Baby’s Space, a community day care program in Minneapolis.

Bruininks visited Baby’s Space to announce expansion plans for the facility, where University researchers study subjects including child development and parent-child relationships.

Baby’s Space was founded six years ago by Terrie Rose, associate director of the University’s Institute of Child Development, in collaboration with neighborhood day care centers in south Minneapolis.

“Nobody was providing full-day infant and child care for working parents,” Rose said.

Rose said she started Baby’s Space to help busy parents find a safe and stimulating environment for children.

The center, which caters to 30 children and their families, serves primarily American Indian families who reside in the Little Earth subsidized housing development adjacent to Baby’s Space.

Rose said the University investment to Baby’s Space is extremely helpful and crucial for its continued success.

Through contributions of the University’s Institute of Child Development and a $460,000 grant from the McKnight Foundation, Bruininks said the University is working hand-in-hand with Baby’s Space to improve child/parent relationships and “most importantly, the long run success of the child.”

“Early investments pay off in the long run to the society and the individual. A society that fails to invest in its children is making a deliberate decision not to invest in its future,” Bruininks said.

The expansion plan includes spreading Baby’s Space to five other child care facilities throughout the Twin Cities area. Rose and Bruininks said they hope to see the program reach beyond Minneapolis and St. Paul.

So far, Baby’s Space has seen tremendous success, gaining parent approval as well as showing that children in the program are developmentally on-track, Bruininks said.

Tacara Harris of Minneapolis has taken her 15-month-old daughter Tyyanni to the center for the past nine months.

After having her daughter as a junior in high school, Harris struggled to find an affordable, quality day care provider.

That changed when Tyyanni started attending Baby’s Space, she said.

“I love these people; they’re so nice,” Harris said.

Kinzie Foss is a freelance writer. The freelance editor welcomes comments at [email protected]

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