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CARE Fellowship

A Public Policy & Leadership Learning Cohort

The CARE (Child Care Advocates Ready to Emerge) Fellowship aims to provide early childhood development and school-age care professionals an opportunity to connect the dots between relevant public policy and the daily work of caring for and supporting children and families. Over 200 individuals from throughout Minnesota have graduated from the CARE Fellowship—driving progress for children across the state.

The Katie Williams CARE (Child Care Advocates Ready to Emerge) Fellowship was created by Child Care WORKS in 2006 in honor of longtime children’s advocate Katie L. Williams.

The application period for the 2018-19 CARE Fellowship is now closed.

Leading the Way to a Better World

In 2013, an alliance of child care and early learning organizations came together to continue the legacy of the CARE Fellows, including YWCA Minneapolis, Child Care Aware of Minnesota, Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children–Minnesota School Age Care Alliance, Minnesota Child Care Association and Think Small.

Since then, we’ve helped many Fellowship participants become more effective advocates for the early childhood and afterschool fields when engaging and educating policymakers at all levels of government.

At its heart, advocacy is about influencing policy by elevating the voices of constituents and the community. And with support from the CARE Fellowship, child care professionals have more tools to affect positive social change that positions Minnesota’s children for success.

Program Description

The CARE Fellowship is an opportunity for participants to…

  • Take time each month to explore public policy topics that impact child care and children in Minnesota
  • Strengthen your understanding of the early childhood and school-age care system in Minnesota
  • Connect with other advocates from various sectors of the early childhood and school-age care fields
  • Develop confidence in your leadership abilities
  • Engage with policymakers and field experts
  • Discover new ways to advocate for Minnesota children

Each session is led by an informed early childhood and/or school-age care leader and draws on Minnesota experts to share the latest news, research and strategies to improve early childhood and school-age care public policy.

Covered topics include:

  • Understanding the early learning system
  • Racial equity in the early years
  • Early childhood and afterschool as social justice issues
  • Minnesota legislative process
  • Telling personal stories
  • Effective legislative meetings
  • Community organizing
  • Using social media
  • Personal leadership style
  • Emerging educational issues

Program Activities


Fellows meet once a month from October 2018 – June 2019 (nine times in total) to participate in all-day workshops.

Class 12 Gatherings

  • October 12, 2018
  • November 9, 2018
  • December 14, 2018
  • January 18, 2019
  • February 15, 2019
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2019
  • April 19, 2019
  • May 17, 2019
  • June 21, 2019

The Policy Project

Each participant makes a contribution to the early childhood field and/or afterschool field by completing an individual policy project during the Fellowship.

Program Commitment

We ask each participant to commit to…

  • Attend all nine workshops. Participants should also expect an additional 4-6 hours of work each month
  • Complete a policy project and present it
  • Complete progress reports and program evaluations
  • Develop and maintain a relationship after the Fellowship with the CARE Collaborative

Participant Testimonies

Learn More About the CARE Fellowship Today

Whether you plan to advocate for child care in Minneapolis specifically or across the entire state, the CARE Fellowship can empower you with tools to enhance your leadership skills and create meaningful change for Minnesota’s youth.

If you’re ready to learn more about the CARE Fellowship or get involved, please connect with us at Our team would be more than happy to provide any information or support you need.