Staples, Minn.,
20:47 PM

Putting Children First

Q&A with Anna Gruber

The voices of local educators, early childhood providers, and families will be represented at the State Capitol. Sourcewell Manager of Community Solutions Anna Gruber is one of nine individuals recently appointed to the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.

Gruber shares what this means, not only for her but, for children and families throughout Sourcewell's service area.


Q: What exactly is the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care?

A: This group was initially called the Early Learning Council and developed by former Gov. Mark Dayton to ensure all children were school ready by 2020. Renamed to the Council on Early Childhood Education and Care, this group is charged with providing counsel to the Governor's cabinets regarding children and fulfilling the duties required by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007.

Q: How were you selected to this Council?

A: The process involved an online application to the Advisory Council. From there, the Children's Cabinet processed, interviewed, and selected finalists from across the state of Minnesota.

Q: What will you do as part of this group?

A: As a part of this group, I will be active in improving the lives of children in Minnesota through supporting engagement that improves outcomes, promotes equity, and bridges the opportunity gap for our next generation of leaders. We know that this work is not only incredibly important to the future of our state, but also cannot be accomplished by any one person or agency. I look forward to working together with a group of statewide leaders committed to serving our children.

Q: How does this align with what you – and your team – have done with early childhood initiatives?

A: At Sourcewell, our Community Solutions team has actively engaged in serving children through our Regional Family Child Care Licensing Model, which promotes the success of children from infant to school age in family, in-home childcare settings.

Our Education Solutions team is also actively involved in the engagement of children through a variety of early childhood and school-age programs and services. Both teams will provide incredible perspective and knowledge. Also, as a mother of three small children – two of which are early childhood aged – I'll have the ability to bring a personal lens to the table.

Q: What unique attributes or perspective do you hope to bring to the Council?

A: I hope to join other leaders throughout the state in bringing a perspective of not only professional experiences and connections, but personal – whether we are parents, family members, friends, or mentors; we all interact with children and have an interest in serving our youngest leaders.

Gruber's term runs Nov. 18, 2019 to Jan. 2, 2023. In addition to the nine appointments made by the Governor, four members of the Minnesota Legislature, two from the House of Representatives and two from the Senate, sit on the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care, along with the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health and the State Head Start Director, appointed by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Click here for the official press release issued by the Office of Gov. Tim Walz, including a full list of appointees.

About Sourcewell

Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota's nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with more than 325 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.