Little Moments Count


Project Goals

To increase parent/caretaker public awareness of the importance of frequent and connected interaction with children, especially those between 0 and 3 years old.

Project Description

Little Moments Count (LMC) is a statewide awareness building campaign to encourage parents and caretakers of young children to practice frequent serve and return interaction to help a child’s brain optimally develop. It educates and inspires action among parents, caregivers, and professionals who work directly with families. Optimal brain development helps build the parent/caretaker-child relationship and pave the way for future reading and math academic success, mental well-being, high school graduation and other markers of success. It also helps mitigate toxic stress for the child and is an important upstream factor that helps reduce future chronic disease and mental and substance health risks. These target audiences learn how their interactions with babies and children can stimulate early brain development and enhance positive health and education outcomes throughout their children’s lives. LMC engages families of all cultural backgrounds and income levels with special care to reach the most vulnerable families in their own communities and in ways that are familiar or practical for them.

LMC actively reached out in 2019/20 to reach families and professionals across the Twin Cities through a myriad of activities. LMC website – including a new page dedicated to COVID-19 related resources for parents with a new page on racial justice parent resources. Social Media – active on Facebook and Instagram with goal to increase social media presence in 2021 through a Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation grant to support culturally-specific messages and resources. Employee Education Campaign and Tool Kit  – developed and tested with HealthPartners employees and  available for use by all LMC partners.  Public Service Announcements – MPR launched a 12-month LMC promotional campaign (May 2020) with expected annual audience reach is over 11 million impressions. This will be expanded in 2021 with the addition of Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) and KMOJ as an additional media partners in late 2020.  Virtual Parent Focus Groups  – to gather input from parents about LMC content and communication channels in local communities: Northside Achievement Zone – African American parents; Joyce Preschool – LatinX parents; Hmong American Partnership – Hmong parents; Way to Grow – Native American parents and East African Parents. Health Care Collaboration with six health care systems to reach families with LMC messaging through well child visits.

Entities Involved

HealthPartners, African American Babies Coalition, American Academy of Pediatrics – MN Chapter, BeautyWell, City of Saint Paul, Frank Forsberg Consulting, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Hennepin County, Hennepin County Library, Indigenous Visioning, LaCroix Dalluhn Consulting, MacPhail Center for Music, MN Children’s Museum, MN Department of Health, MN Public Radio, Prenatal to Three Coalition, The Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), The People’s Center, Ramsey County, Reach Out and Read MN, Redleaf Center for Family Healing, Saint Paul Public Library, Think Small, Twin Cities Public Television,

Twin Cities Youth Consulting Board, University of MN, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Way to Grow, YMCA of the North, Ziesmer Consulting, Allina Health, CentraCare, Children’s MN, Hennepin Health, Park Nicollet, The People’s Center, Sanford Health, Bloomington Department of Public Health, Bloomington Public Schools, The Itasca Project, Saint Louis Park Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE), Stillwater Schools, Washington County Public Health.

How Health Plans Support the Project

HealthPartners is the convener for the statewide Little Moments Count work, hosting Little Moments Count Leadership Council meetings six times each year with 25 other community and state-focused organizations.  HealthPartners also convenes an early brain development cultural consulting group and brings large health care systems from across Minnesota to plan collective action on early brain development.

HealthPartners has held annual early brain development educational convenings for the past four years. Each year, approximately 500 individuals representing over 200 organizations from many sectors are represented. They’ve seen significant increases in the Little Moments Count website for parents and professionals: Statewide measures include parental awareness and behavioral change over time. A statewide evaluation plan was created and launched in 2019. This plan is designed and led by the HealthPartners Research Institute.

HealthPartners has supported LMC to partner with representatives from the African American, Hmong, Somali and Latin American communities to ensure that LMC messaging resonates with all communities. This campaign is just getting off the ground in 2021, and they are partnering closely with county public health to spread the word. In partnership with Hennepin County WIC, they are developing a WIC specific toolkit that local public health agencies and other groups can use in their counties. Additionally, they see county home visitors as a key resource to help spread the word about the importance of reading, talking, and singing to babies and young children. The MN Family Home Visiting Coalition and MN Department of Health are active on the LMC steering committee and assist in the development of materials to use in home visits.

Additional Information


Thia Bryan
Community Health and Wellbeing Partnership Manager