Thursday, April 14, 2011

Display at New Haven City Hall stresses early childhood education

 NEW HAVEN - A display featuring notables like NATO Supreme Commander Wesley Clark, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman and Walter Gilliam of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University can be seen at New Haven City Hall.

The display stresses "the importance of investing in high-quality early care and education initiatives," organizers said in a statement.

"The display, developed by the CT Early Childhood Alliance, was featured on the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building concourse in January. It now travels around the state to be displayed at early childhood centers, schools, town halls and town events," the statement said. "The display will remain at New Haven City Hall until the end of April and is hosted by the New Haven Early Childhood Council. NHECC has incorporated additional early childhood posters in with the Alliance display."

The display also coincides with a number of activities planned in New Haven to celebrate the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s “Week of the Young Child,” which focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families and recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs, the statement said.

“This display affirms the message that we know is true, that a quality early childhood experience is a significant way to provide a strong foundation for future learning,” said Pam Hansen, coordinator for the New Haven Early Childhood Council, also in the statement. “Having a variety of important community members represented in the posters with their words of support for early childhood education further emphasizes the value of a good start and a strong foundation for learning.”

Investing in high-quality early childhood initiatives including Care4Kids,School Readiness, Head Start, state-funded child care centers and family resource centers, helps close the achievement gap, helps reduce grade repetition, reduces the need for special education services and reduces high school dropout rates. It increases college graduation rates and helps form a productive and capable workforce. Research shows that for every dollar spent on early childhood programs, the return on investment can be up to $17, the statement said

The New Haven Early Childhood Council brings together community members who share a desire to improve the lives of young children and their families in New Haven. Its mission is to ensure that all children come to kindergarten with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed, the statement said.

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a group of organizations and individuals committed to improving developmental outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security for children ages birth to eight, the statement said.

For more information on the display or to inquire about bringing it to your town, call the Alliance at 860-819-3647 or email


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