Connections 4 Kids: Early childhood learning yields lifelong rewards
Did you know that, from birth to age 5, a child learns at a speed unmatched to the rest of his or her life? An estimated 85 to 90 percent of the brain develops during these early years. Think about that. Let it soak in. Every minute a child is awake, her or she us learning!
Research shows that, for every $1 we invest in quality early childhood programs, there is an approximate $12 to $13 return on the investment. High-quality, early childhood programs promote healthy development, so they can generate savings by preventing the need for more expensive interventions later in a child’s life. Studies show that participation in high-quality early care can help children avoid interventions, grade repetition, early parenthood, and incarceration — all outcomes that imply large costs for government and society. Furthermore, over the long term, children who participate in high-quality, early childhood education are more likely to be employed, thus revenue from their taxes and enhanced buying power can positively contribute to the economy.
Connections 4 Kids understands the importance of high-quality, early childhood programs, and we work tirelessly to strengthen resources for children and their families in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. Our council and Parent Education Center work to improve the quality of early learning and development, family support and education and the health and well-being of children and their families from birth to age 8.
We strive to reduce the numbers of abuse and neglect cases, increase literacy skills and scores, and offer educational opportunities, strategies, resources, and tools to parents, early childhood educators, and providers. Our vision to “create successful children, one family at a time” consistently remains at the forefront of our efforts.
We offer only evidence-based classes, which focus on a proactive rather reactive philosophy. All classes are offered at no cost to the families, and free child care is provided during classes.
Connections 4 Kids does not stop there, though. We are also part of three upcoming community events.
First, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9 at the Center of Craig, Connections 4 Kids and The Health Partnership Serving Northwest Colorado have teamed up to bring a Community Baby Shower for planning, expectant, and new families to learn about the many resources available for pregnancy, birth, and infancy.
The second event is the Children’s Health Fair, which provides screenings for young children before they enter preschool. This event will be held April 18 and 19 at the Early Childhood Center, based at the former East Elementary School.
The third event is the annual Children’s Festival, which takes place in April and provides information and entertainment for young families. More information will be available as we get closer to the event date.
Please mark your calendars and join us as we work together to create memories and celebrate the children of our community! For more information, call 970-824-1081 or visit our website connections4kids.org.
“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today” — Barbara Johnson.
Trish Snyder is parent education coordinator for Connections 4 Kids. She was previously a preschool teacher for Eagle’s Nest Preschool and has 17 years of early childhood education experience. She is a member of the Early Childhood Coalition, is married, is the mother of four children, grandmother of one, and a Moffat county resident of 25 years.
When we’re not cooking something on the grill, it’s great to be able to whip up nutritious casseroles for summer dinners. This week’s column features two casserole recipes. I make “Skillet Beef–a-Roni” often. I don’t keep the ingredients for the other casserole on hand so don’t make it as often.