19 Oct Head Start Awareness Month
There are many pressing issues facing us today—racial injustice, division, and a lingering pandemic (just to name a few). Like fires in 3 rooms of the house, it is easy to be distracted from cracks in the foundation. We run around throwing water on the fires all the while ignoring the crumbling infrastructure. Head Start Awareness month is a reminder. We cannot ignore the foundation our future is built upon—our children. To ignore the needs of children while tending to these fires puts our very existence in peril. We must put out the fires and ensure the social-emotional growth and intellectual development of our youth. Head Start programs help to provide resources to struggling families. If everyone has a safe place to learn and grow, imagine the possibilities the future holds. That is why Head Start, and other early childhood programs that promote school readiness are so vital.
Experts have long been telling us:
“Positive social-emotional development is the cornerstone of success in school and in life—which means every early childhood professional must enter the field ready to support children’s social and emotional health.” (Sarah Landy Ph.D. developmental and specialist clinical psychologist at Family Pathways)
Nobel-prize winning economist, James Heckman has said – “It is imperative to change the way we look at education. We should invest in the foundation of school readiness from birth to age 5.” “Some kids win the lottery at birth; far too many don’t—and most people have a hard time catching up over the rest of their lives. Children raised in disadvantaged environments are not only much less likely to succeed in school or in society, but they are also much less likely to be healthy adults.”
And Greek philosopher, Diogenes said long ago – “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.”
Thank you for listening. Thanks also for your efforts in helping parents and care-givers provide this solid foundation of social-emotional growth and intellectual development for our children to build a brighter future for us all. To help celebrate Head Start Awareness month—please also consider sharing the importance of early childhood education programs in your community.
*For early childhood programs that help promote parent engagement and school readiness, check out Active Parenting: First Five Years!
Active Parenting Publishers founder and president Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D. has been providing research-based education programs with an emphasis on nonviolent discipline, mutual respect, and open communication for over 35 years. He is widely known for his expertise in the field of parent education and has appeared on over 100 TV programs, including CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show.