Early Childhood Advocates to Help Parents Teach Their Children

(L-R) Rebecca Dorman, Armond Budish, Emily Roden- founder of Ready Rosie
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Cuyahoga County officials are looking to solve a number of economic and socials issues by focusing on preschoolers.  They discussed some options yesterday (Thurs) at the annual meeting of the county’s Invest in Children organization.

Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports . .


County Executive Armond Budish wants to increase county spending on preschoolers by $10 million dollars.  He told several hundred early childhood advocates that 64% of county preschoolers are unprepared for kindergarten.  And that, he says, has long term consequences.  

"Our economy only prospers when we have educated,  trained employees fueling our growth.  We need to make sure we’re investing in our workforce at the front end of our human capital development.” 

Budish believes Cuyahoga County may be the only place in the nation to have a county wide early childhood organization.  The regional President of PNC Bank, Paul Clark, is a supporter.  

“It’s unlike any other foundation of early childhood work we see around all of PNC. I talk to my colleagues in Philadelphia, New Jersey,  Baltimore, Pittsburgh all the time and nobody has what we have here.”

The director of Invest in Children, Rebecca Dorman, says they’re trying a new method to engage parents of preschoolers.  Beginning in November the families will receive  videos by email each day on how to increase their kids’ vocabulary.  Dorman says they’ll start with parents who already have children in preschools.

“When a known and trusted person  -in our case the pre-K teacher-  tells the families about it, there’s a MUCH greater chance that they’ll use the resource because it’s coming from someplace that they know and trust.” 

Officials say a good vocabulary is vital in preparing children to read and parents have the greatest potential to accomplish that.  Dorman says an early study by Penn State found parents who learn from the videos have increased the number of words their children understand and speak. 

Dorman wouldn’t say what the program costs but said it would be funded through a private grant.

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