My father spent his career as an educator, and I remember vividly when he attended a conference about early childhood education. He came home from that conference and shared the importance of those critical early years of a child’s life. All these years later, I still remember his passion about what he had learned.
We know that 90 percent of a child’s brain is formed by age five. By the time children are three, their brains have formed 100 trillion connections between neurons. At four, a child’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s brain. We also know that the brain operates on a “use-it-lose-it” principle, and without cultivation by nurturing and knowledgeable caregivers, children may fall behind. This deficit can have a major impact on a child’s emotional development, learning skills, and function later in life.
My administration, including the First Lady, is committed to ensuring all Delaware’s children get the opportunity to realize their full potential. In fact, the First Lady is leading the “First Chance” initiative with the goal of ensuring that all Delaware’s children have a “first chance” to succeed.
Delaware Stars, the state’s quality rating system for early childhood centers, and its focus on improving quality in close to 500 child care facilities in our state, greatly supports our goal of ensuring all children get the start they need to succeed on all fronts – academically, socially, and emotionally.
We commend these child care providers for partnering with Stars to continually pursue improvement for the benefit of Delaware’s children. We are committed to supporting these providers by allocating resources to make this happen.
Resources include the dedicated and talented staff from the Delaware Department of Education; the Department of Health and Social Services; the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families; and the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood. This community also includes educators, administrators, pediatricians, business leaders, child health and development experts, parents, and neighbors. Collectively, these early child care advocates are valuable partners to help ensure Delaware’s children get the early start they deserve.
My administration is invested in making sure this community and the hundreds of child care providers get the support they need to continue their good work for the benefit of Delaware’s earliest learners.