The Long-Run: How Early Learning Can Help Children and the Community

Parents of young kids often wonder about their children’s futures and what they can do to set them on the right track at a young age. That’s where early learning opportunities come into play.

“It is important that families have access to high-quality early learning experiences so their children have a great start and are prepared with the necessary tools for school,” said Crystal Givens, director of programs for Early Learning Indiana’s Child Care Answers program. “Those tools will help children to grow into responsible adults who will provide a positive contribution to society.”

The phrase “early learning” generally refers to the education of children from birth to age five and is used to reinforce the importance of experiences that help children develop academically and socially.

“Research shows that children who have high-quality early learning experiences are more likely to complete high school [and] go on to college, less likely to commit crimes and more likely to be productive citizens,” said Givens. “If children do not have access to quality programs they are less likely to possess the necessary social skills to cope with everyday situations; for instance, getting along well with others. A young child without practice in getting along well with others gets in trouble starting in kindergarten [and] becomes an adult who cannot get along well with others.”

La’ Toya Pitts, deputy director of Christamore House, said, “Early learning provides a foundation for children to be successful throughout their educational careers. Early learning plays a vital role in building confidence in young people so that they are equipped to deal with the various learning situations that they may encounter throughout the learning cycle.”

Pitts added, “Early learning builds confidence, confidence leads to success, success leads to change – and our communities are begging for change. We need change to happen so that our community can succeed.”

Read more on Indy With Kids.

2013 Legislative Session Starts Today

The 2013 legislative session of the Indiana General Assembly convened today at the Statehouse at 1:30 p.m.    It’s a long session this year, with April 29 being the last possible day of session.  During the long session, the legislature creates Indiana’s biennial budget, which consumes the majority of legislators’ time, but also, legislators are able to propose more legislation, which means the potential for quite a few more issues to be delved into.

MCCOY will be how children’s issues fare this session with topics ranging from creating a commission to improve the status of children in Indiana to addressing early childhood learning and safety to preventing bullying and keeping children safe.  Bills are now being posted on the General Assembly’s website and MCCOY will be sending out it’s first Voices for Indiana’s Children legislative update at the end of this week to summarize the bills posted thus far.  To receive the newsletter, please click here and choose the “advocacy” mailing list.

Due to redistricting and the elections, your legislator may have changed.  Please visit the General Assembly’s District Look-up Page to find out who represents you in the statehouse.  Reach out and make contact with your legislator – they would love to hear from their constituents on the important issues that they will grapple with this year.

Stay tuned for periodic updates as the session moves forward!

MCCOY reads about llamas

Last week, MCCOY staff participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Day. This campaign highlights the early education achievement gap and seeks to provide low-income students with high-quality educational experiences. MCCOY staff traveled to the city’s newest Center for Inquiry school, IPS #27 Charity Dye.

What a fantastic school, right in heart of Indianapolis! The school was full of great energy and the students were so bright. We divided into pairs and read Llama Llama Red Pajama to groups of kindergarteners. As a part of the campaign, each student got to take home their very own copy of the book. It was definitely the highlight of MY week. Perhaps in a few months, we can visit again and read Llama Llama Holiday Drama.