Focusing on early childhood education

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Studies show the earlier a child starts learning the better he or she does all through school. But too many kids in Connecticut don’t get the chance to start learning early enough.

This week is devoted to the importance of teaching young kids. I mean really young.

“The highest brain activity is actually between 0-3 years,” said Allyx Schiavone, executive director of Friends Center for Children.

At New Haven’s Friends Center for Children, they work on those young brains every day, but in honor of the Week of the Young Child, they presented an award to the head of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, a new state office that is designed to keep everyone helping young children working in harmony.

“The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood to bring together all the key services for young children and high quality early childhood education is essential to that work,” Myra Jones-Taylor said.

We’ve known for years that early childhood education is important, but not everyone can afford it, and that creates in Connecticut what is known as an achievement gap.”

“We know that children from low-income families, for example, enter kindergarten with a 30,000,000 word gap,” Jones-Taylor said. “They have heard 30,000,000 words less than their peers of higher socio-economic status.”

Without more programs like this, lower-income kids find themselves several grades behind while they’re still in grade school.

“The fact that we’re ignoring that and not putting resources into that area of education is really a disservice to our entire community,” Schiavone said.

They are working on it. Gov. Dannel Malloy announced the state will provide money for thousands of low-income kids to go to pre-school over the next four years.

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