• Connecticut's Investment in Our Children

    Earlier this week, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced his plan to reintroduce a bill that will formally establish the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) in Connecticut. This new agency will provide a comprehensive, collaborative system delivering high-quality programs and services to children and their parents, from birth to five years old.

    “I believe it’s critical that the office be statutorily created to ensure future continuity of services,” said the Governor. “A smart, coordinated system that makes sure we are providing quality services to the children who need them is an important part of our effort to give everyone in our state the chance to succeed throughout their lives.”

    The Office of Early Childhood is a collaboration of agency commissioners, early childhood education and development advocates, parents, caregivers, and other stakeholders. The OEC is comprised of related programs that were previously housed in five separate state agencies and will improve continuity and the reach of early childhood programs. Representative agencies include the Department of Education’s School Readiness program, the Department of Social Services’ Care for Kids, the Department of Public Health’s childcare licensing program, the Department of Developmental Services’ Birth to 3 program, and the Board of Regents’ Charts a Course program, among others.

    “It is imperative that we have a system that is cohesive and collaborative so that our youngest, most precious residents have improved access to the quality programs and services they deserve,” said Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. “All children deserve a chance to succeed, no matter where they live, or how much money their parents make.”

    Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, Executive Director of the OEC, acknowledged the progress that the state of Connecticut has made in regards to Early Learning and Development Standards, noting that there is still room to improve. “We look forward to continuing to improve the early childhood experience for young children in our state,” she said. “We hope that this legislation will be passed soon so that we may move forward with our important work.”

     

    Governor Malloy’s announcement puts Connecticut in the center of an ongoing conversation regarding the hot button issue of early childhood education and the lack of high-quality programs in our country. We at the Friends Center for Children know that there is a dire need to provide our youngest students a strong start towards their education and to set them on a path for lifelong success. We have taken a grand leap towards creating a space specifically tailored for high-quality early childhood learning through our values-based curriculum, our focus on emotional intelligence and cooperative environment. Our involvement in the community allows us to positively impact New Haven and help Connecticut lead the way for early childhood education.

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  • Let's Talk About It!

    This year Too Small to Fail is encouraging parents to let go of excuses and hectic daily schedules and engage their children in singing, talking and reading on a daily basis. By integrating activities like reading, talking and playing into a child’s regular schedule, parents and caregivers can help babies and young children develop critical vocabulary skills and put them on a fast track to improve their skills. A new post on the Too Small to Fail website shines a spotlight on two bloggers, Laura Mayes of Austin, TX, and Hong Van Pham of the Bay Area, CA, who are resolving to spend more time this year understanding the developmental needs of children and instill a love of learning.

    The Friends Center for Children recognizes the necessity of the parent’s role in furthering their child’s development. We engage our parents by virtue of our cooperative, as they work together with teachers to support their child’s growth and education both in the classroom and at home. A love of learning is cultivated every day at the Friends Center for Children, and it is instilled by exploring the interests and inquisitiveness of each individual child. A collaborative community is just one of the ways the Friends Center for Children models behavior for children and parents that encourage the development of skills for a successful life.

    To read the entire post at Too Small to Fail, click here:
    http://toosmall.org/Blog/resolving-to-read-sing-and-talk-more-in-2014

    To read Laura Mayes’ blog post, click here:
    http://gomighty.com/laura/a-capital-idea/

    To read Hong Van Pham’s blog post, click here:
    http://thenextgeneration.org/blog/post/one-familys-resolution-to-close-the-word-gap

    For tips on how to incorporate reading and new words into daily activities, click here:
    http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-activities/

     

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