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Early Childhood Summit – A Vision for Success for the Next Generation

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February 4, 2010

ENFIELD, Conn. - Children who attend high-quality early care and education programs are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to hold a job and less likely to need special education. It's a statement backed up by extensive research that will be discussed this weekend at the North Central Connecticut Regional Early Care and Education Summit.

David Nee with the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund is speaking at the event. He says the goal is to come up with a community plan to make sure the state's youngest are not shut out during a prime window of learning opportunity during their early years.

"We want to make sure the kids hit their developmental milestones from birth to age five, start kindergarten really ready to learn, and by the third grade, have mastered reading. Those are the keys to success in life."

Community plans can include pediatric screenings for learning challenges, as well as training for early care programs and resources for home care providers.

State Rep. Karen Jarmoc is sponsoring the summit, along with the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance and Enfield KITE (Key Initiatives to Early Education). She says getting kids off to a good start is in everyone's best interest.

"If we can educate children and prepare them well, in the longer term, the costs that impact our state and our federal government will be lessened by this investment."

The summit will be held on Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, at Asnuntuck Community College, Enfield.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - CT