2. Early Care & Education
What the task force had in mind: Ensure that investments are made so that all children in the county from birth to age five have access to quality early care and education and improve the quality and experiences of early care and education. In additional strategies are needed to support parents as a child’s first teacher in promoting early brain development.nWhat are we doing to address early care and education in our services and programs? Our belief is that is truly does take a village to raise a child. Secondly, whose children are they anyway? Our mindset is that the children who we work with are ALL our children. They belong to parents, teachers and those who pour their time and mentoring expertise into each and every one of our precious children. Otherwise referred to as “family engagement”, we maintain that the engagement of parents in a young child’s early education is the key to success in preschool and beyond.
Strategies that LHCC has recently executed to make positive impacts on early childcare:
- Encourage all children to read with their parents
- Encourage elementary and middle school children to read to their younger siblings and family members
- Recognize that early childhood learning and development starts before kindergarten and that sending youngsters to school better prepared than their peers will ensure they get off to a great start. This includes:
- Read a picture book to them daily
- Teach them the alphabet by saying the letters and writing them out
- Help them to count to 100
- Show them how to write their name
It has been proven that children who can accomplish basic tasks entering kindergarten, will be in the top 10% of their graduating kindergarten class.
- There is a lot of Department of Education school-side focus on third grade; being the school year when students take their reading and math EOG’s for the first time. Early childhood education truly starts before start commences in pre-K and kindergarten.
- Demonstrated to ESL parents the importance of not allowing their children to be brought up by the television as their baby sitter. Reading to their youngest children from an early age, and letting them hear your voice beats the TV every time.
Strategies that we have recently executed to make a positive impact on a child’s education:
- Parents, regardless of how busy with raising young children or working two jobs need to ensure that their children are doing the required amount of homework and reading each day.
- Parents need to review their students reading log, and ask some questions to ensure they understand the theme, main characters etc.
- Parents observe the process of helping children with homework and reading.
The reader may have identified a common theme here, consistent with early childhood care. That’s what we refer to as “family engagement”. Parents or care givers can own this aspect of accountability, regardless of their ability to speak the language, or the amount of time they can devote to helping their children at home. Positive reinforcement by a parent, and checking to ensure that homework and reading are being attempted and preferably completed, will significantly compliment the encouragement of a teacher or one of our LHCC reading mentors.
One or more stories demonstrating positive results in this area:
A rising 2nd grade boy has been in our program for three years. He has been attending weekly with the same consistent volunteers. He is reading at home. Mom and our smart young student read to his two siblings, ages 18 months and 3 years. Our rising 2nd grade student is able to read well above reading level. He has the spelling proficiency and comprehension of a third grader. He acquired an enthusiasm for learning and reading at an early age and should be well on his way to maintaining grade level standards throughout his school year, due to early childhood intervention.
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