Early learning and the importance of having high-quality teachers for the community’s youngest learners continues to be a primary focus of The Children’s Trust as it took part in Miami-Dade County’s Early Head Start Infant and Toddler Conference in late July.
Trust President and CEO James Haj and Director of Programs Rachel Spector joined the mayor and several other speakers at the two-day conference that focused on highlighting the important role that early learning educators have in a child’s development. Specifically, the conference held discussion and workshops on professional development opportunities for infant and toddler teachers and related professionals, as well as best practices and strategies for the classroom.
“Early learning teachers are essential to the development of our children and The Trust thanks these educators for all they do to inspire and nourish young minds,” Haj said. “We continue to elevate the importance of quality early learning by supporting our teachers and families and Miami-Dade County is moving in the right direction because of our collective commitment to our youngest learners.”
"Considering 90% of brain development occurs during the first five years of life, early learning educators are a vital piece of children's early development which has an impact on later life success - they are our heroes,” added Spector.
During the conference, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava issued a proclamation making July 27 Child Educator Day in Miami-Dade County recognizing the importance of early learning educators and related personnel. The proclamation also marked the launch of an awareness campaign that would feature a video that shares stories of early learning educators.
The mayor also shared her recently released Roadmap for Child Success, another project developed in collaboration with The Trust, which builds on the successes of child-focused organizations. And she proposed to add $3 million to the county budget to help relieve the waitlist for working families that don’t qualify for the school readiness child care subsidy but who are eligible for The Trust’s Thrive by 5: Families Forward Early Child Care Scholarships, which The Trust is committed to matching.
The Trust’s Thrive by 5 Initiative and Early Learning Quality Improvement System (QIS) invests in an innovative array of strategies to prepare children for kindergarten through the development of physical and cognitive skills, as well as social and emotional health and behavior. The QIS strategies work together to support child care owners, educators, children and their families.