Early Childhood education

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Today, for our final segment in this Ready By 5 Series, key Community Representatives Pam Parriott from KConnect and Kevin Stotts from Talent 2025 join in to discuss "What's Next for Early Childhood in Kent County?" Please visit  successstartsearly.org, k-connect.org, or talent2025.org for more information.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County.

Today, “Early Care and Education” with Dr. Nkechy Ezeh from Early Learning neighborhood Collaborative, Terese Smith from Great Start to Quality, and Kristen Sobolewski from Campfire West Michigan 4C.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape and system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County. Today, “Behavioral Health (Mental Health) in Early Childhood” with Marguerite Morgan from Arbor Circle and Kristyn Peck from West Michigan Partnership for Children.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape and system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County. Today, “Social Determinants of Health” with Paul Haan from Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan and Maureen Kirkwood from HealthNet of West Michigan.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape and system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County. Today, “Developmental Milestones: What does it mean to be developmentally on track and how do parents monitor their kids’ development?” with Barbara Corbin with Early On at Kent ISD and Candace Cowling with Family Futures.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape and system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County. Today, “Born Healthy: How healthy are Kent County children? Birth & Why It Matters.” with Dr. Lisa Thiel, a Maternal Fetal Medicine Perinatologist with Spectrum Health and Denise Evans, Project Coordinator with Strong Beginnings Healthy Start.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape and system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County. Today, “Empowering and Equipping Parents” with Great Start Collaborative Director, Paula Brown, and from the Great Start Collaborative Nurturing Parent Power workgroup, Nicole Notario-Risk and Chana Edmond-Verley.

Please visit successstartsearly.org for more information.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape and system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County. Today, “Parents’ Perspective: How Early Childhood Services Have Helped Their Families” with Jessica Turk from the Great Start Parent Coalition of Kent County and Kristina Donaldson, First Steps Kent Commissioner.

Please visit  successstartsearly.org for more information.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape and system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County. Today, “Kindergarten Readiness – What does it mean to be ready for Kindergarten?” with Ana Alerman-Putnam, Principal at East Elementary in Grandville Public Schools and Kate Lara, Director of Early Childhood in Grand Rapids Public Schools.

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the local landscape and system of care around Early Childhood in Kent County. Today, “What are we doing in Early Childhood in our community?” with Amy Turner-Thole, Communications Director with First Steps Kent and Kate Pew-Wolters, First Steps Kent Co-Chair.  

Please visit  successstartsearly.org for more information.

Ready by 5 Series

Oct 9, 2018

There is much discussion around Early Childhood programming and services both nationally and locally. Key Community Representatives join in to discuss the four pillars of the plan prepared by First Steps Kent County. Today, “Why Early Childhood Matters” with Anissa Eddie, Pritzker Early Childhood Fellow and Lew Chamberlin, First Steps Kent Co Chair.

Please visit  successstartsearly.org for more information.

Kent County has been selected as one of 29 communities across the country to participate in a national joint initiative focused on child development from birth to age 3. A project of the Chicago-based J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative will focus on increasing the number of children who are developmentally on track by kindergarten.

Annemarie Valdez is the CEO of First Steps Kent, the organization leading the local effort.

GVSU President Tom Haas
Courtesy photo / Grand Valley State University

During a recent Grand Rapids Rotary Club luncheon, Dr. Thomas Haas, Chair of Michigan’s 21st Century Education Commission and President of Grand Valley State University explained Michigan students are underperforming.

Haas spoke with WGVU about the report and the commission tasked with making recommendations for revamping the state’s education delivery system.

According to a new report released by First Steps Kent this morning, many children lack access to early childhood health services and education. The report, titled “Analyzing Gaps in Early Childhood Services," found that while strides have been made in Kent County to ensure children under the age of 6 are ready for kindergarten, many local kids start their education lacking the fundamental tools and building blocks needed to be successful.

Included in the report’s findings:

·        Fewer than 1 in 5 economically disadvantaged children have access to 3-year-old preschool.