There are many important initiatives in New Hampshire to support early childhood development but, so far, with no substantial support from the State. There are several modest bills pending in the Legislature that serve to put the discussion on the plate. Today’s lead editorial in the Concord Monitor contributes to the discussion by featuring the innovative Providence Talks program:
Today’s children are tomorrow’s future; invest in them. That statement, in one form or another, will be heard at meetings of the smallest New Hampshire school district, in the state Legislature and in Congress. But when should that investment be made? In kindergarten, after a child turns 5? During preschool? In the first weeks of life or before the child is even born? As part of maternal health and nutrition assistance, and parenting classes?
The answer is all of the above.
In a landmark 1990s study of 42 families, 13 high-income, 13 low-income, six on welfare and 10 middle-class, researchers estimated that by the time a low-income child is 3, he or she has heard 30 million fewer words than kids in upper-income households. This gap manifests itself in many ways, none of them conducive to educational success and long-term prosperity.
In a recent New Yorker article, writer Margaret Talbot described Providence Talks, a program launched by that city’s mayor, Angel Taveras, to help parents close that gap. It’s an effort that New Hampshire should emulate with a pilot program operated or overseen by the state’s Department of Education. Here’s how it works.
read the rest at Editorial: Talk to your child and good things happen | Concord Monitor.