Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) are asking Connecticut residents and communities to come together for children during the Week of the Young Child, April 6-12. As part of the Week of the Young Child, Malloy will be holding a Pre-K to 3rd Grade Symposium at the Mark Twain House in Hartford on April 8.
"All young children need and deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life, and Connecticut has a great opportunity to do our part to help young children," said Malloy. "By investing in universal access to pre-kindergarten, we are helping to provide these high-quality early learning experiences to the children in our state who need it most."
Malloy's proposed budget for FY 2015 includes funding for opportunities for an additional 1,020 3- and 4-year-olds to attend high-quality pre-kindergarten in Connecticut. The proposal is part of a 4-year plan to expand access to pre-kindergarten to young children in Connecticut's poorest communities.
In addition, the governor has proclaimed April 6-12 Week of the Young Child in the State of Connecticut to encourage citizens to recognize the valuable role that communities, families, teachers and other early childhood providers play in nurturing and teaching our young children.
"The early years of a child's life play a critical role in their learning and development," stated Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, Executive Director of the OEC. "Providing high-quality early learning experiences that are literacy-rich with early childhood professionals who are knowledgeable about early childhood learning and development will help prepare children to succeed academically and in life."
The Governor's Pre-K to 3rd Grade Symposium will focus on the new Early Learning and Development Standards for children, from birth to five years old. The standards, developed by the Connecticut Early Childhood Education Cabinet, provide the basis for supporting children's growth and development. More than 100 state and national experts participated in the development process, ensuring a strong and comprehensive set of learning standards. For more information about the Early Learning and Development Standards, go to www.ct.gov/oec/elds.
The Week of the Young Child, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), is an opportunity for early childhood programs across the country, to hold activities to bring awareness to the needs of young children. For a list of events in Connecticut, go to www.ct.gov/oec/woyc2014.