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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Children's Cabinet

Also known as:
Governor's Children's Cabinet
Minnesota's Children's Cabinet
Active dates:1993-

The Children's Cabinet is an interagency partnership working to improve the well-being of children and families in Minnesota.

Preceded by:
Governor's Council on Children

In April 1991, the Action for Children Commission was created by Governor Arne H. Carlson to study the lives of young Minnesotans, develop a vision of what their lives should be like, and make recommendations to help the state achieve that vision.The creation of a children's cabinet was one of the recommendations of the Action for Children Commission in its report, Kids Can't Wait (Feb. 1992). The Children's Cabinet assumed responsibility for implementing the recommendations and strategies in partnership with Action for Children and its Youth Advisory Council.

The 1993 Legislature formalized the Children's Cabinet's membership and provided $400,000 in funding over the biennium. Legislation passed in 1993 also required several Children's Cabinet departments to report back to the Legislature in 1995 with a joint study on an integrated children's services database.

In May 1994, the Minnesota Legislature enacted legislation requiring the Children's Cabinet to study ways to promote, support, protect and nurture the family, and recommend changes in public and private programs and state laws to encourage family preservation.

The Children's Cabinet was largely inactive under the Ventura and Pawlenty administrations. Governor Mark Dayton reestablished the Cabinet in 2011 with fewer members. In April 2013, he appointed Marcie Jeffreys as the head of the Children's Cabinet.

In 2019, Governor Tim Walz created the Governor's Children's Cabinet Advisory Council to work closely with the Children's Cabinet on identifying opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among child development services targeting children and families, and meeting the basic needs of Minnesota families.

The Legislature, in 2021, directed the cabinet to "develop recommendations on the governance of programs relating to early childhood development, care, and learning, including how such programs could be consolidated into an existing state agency or a new state Department of Early Childhood" (see Laws of Minn. 2021, 1st Sp. Sess., chap. 7, art. 14, sec. 22). The cabinet's report is due by February 1, 2022.


The Children's Cabinet shall consist of the commissioners of education, human services, employment and economic development, public safety, corrections, management and budget, health, administration, Housing Finance Agency, transportation, and children youth, and families.

The governor shall designate one member to serve as cabinet chair.

Internet resource:
Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1991-2019.
Record last updated: 07/21/2023

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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