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I am driven to promote healthy development for all children

Inequality of opportunity for healthy child development is threatening the future of Minnesota and societies worldwide. As the income gap grows, says Megan Gunnar, so too does the opportunity gap for children and families.

Professor Gunnar believes that we cannot allow children to begin life at a disadvantage. That’s why she is dedicated to understanding the complex set of experiences that allow a child to thrive. After all, we get out of our children what we put into them, and a lack of positive opportunities for our children leave us all at a disadvantage.

Megan Gunnar

“The opportunity gap starts at conception.”

Megan Gunnar, Professor

Why invest in early childhood?

Investing in our children now pays our society dividends later.

$1 ➞ $13

Investing in childhood

For every dollar you spend on early childhood you save at least thirteen dollars later in life.

Achievement vs. opportunity: a fresh perspective

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Closing the opportunity gap by supporting healthy child development

illustration of the areas where the opportunity gap arises: nutrition, clothing, housing, love, education, community, health

Children need adequate nutrition, from conception through development.

Children need suitable clothing and housing.

A child needs at least one adult that they can rely on.

Children need an environment that supports learning, including a language rich environment in the home.

All children need access to good schools and libraries.

Strong communities that watch out for children and provide safe parks and playgrounds, and community organizations that support families, all help in a child’s development.

Access to health care prenatally and throughout childhood will keep kids healthy and ready to learn.

“These are going to be the adults that will be running the country in a few years, so the more we can do to level that playing field, the stronger our nation will be.”Megan Gunnar