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Investing in the early years: Infants and Toddlers. There is a need to focus on the cognitive, social and emotionl development before school

Brain development begins when the baby is in the womb. We must nuture their cognitive development the moment they are born. Developing the social and emotional skills must be done simultaneously with the cognitive (they all go together) because different sections of the brain are responsible for developing different skills. When you invest in infants and toddlers you invest in our future workforce and minimize the possiblity of that person becoming a product of the prison system later in their life. In Harlem we started the "First 2000 Days Campaign" (from birth to the first day your child starts school is about 2000 days) other states have it, however New York is a little behind.

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  • Jan 27 2013: I am not focusing education as the avenue to wealth. I have looked at extensive research as it pertains to Black and Latino infants and toddlers. I also go by what I've seen within the daycare system. Many of the private day care in Brooklyn and the Bronx are owned by individuals that no very little and most times nothing about early childhood and what it means to provide them with quality care. When a parent is knowlegable about the quality care their infant and toddler should receive they can either demand that or seek that. They can also ask certain questions because they have some knowledge base to work from. Many of the private childcare programs in Brooklyn, Bronx and Harlem focus on collecting the money the city pays for having an infant toddler in their program rather than providing the quality care necessary to help the child in their development milestones nor do they let the parent know some things they can do at home.

    My mother is an Infant Toddler Specialist, has a background in early childhood education for over 25 years and is a certified teacher. For the last 10 years she's been in the Administrator capacity. I am a mother of a 16 month old and have a 15 year old sister.

    We focus on helping parents to understand the importance of cognitive development; we focus on Harlem. We also offer workshops to other child care providers, however many are reluctant and believe they don't need additional knowledge. In almost every professional there is professional development opportunities because new tools and skills are developed to make you more effective in your field. We've also offered to conduct free workshops at organizations and for individuals and that has been a real challenge.

    Other states have the The First 2000 Days Campaign. Businessmen understand the importance of investing in infants and toddlers because they are the future workforce.

    I know there will always be a population heading to prison system for various reasons.
  • Jan 27 2013: Fritzie,

    My mother is an Infant Toddler Specialist in New York. We reside in Harlem. My mother is an independent Education Consultant. We have spoke with several individuals at companies, mostly non profit, government officials, staff of local political offices. We also offer workshops to parents and staff development to day care and family child care providers. All of these stakeholder say yes the information you share is important and yes there is a problem. However they are not doing anything to help solve the issue by providing parents with a roadmap to help their children with the cognitive, social and emotional skills they need to assist them in school and later in life. We have offered to conduct FREE workshops and can not find an organization that will say yes. We've also spoken with a few welfare offices. Many agree that it's important, but it seems its in theory and not practice. Even the office of children and family services of New York State, the entity that secured the grant for my mother and others to be trained to become an infant toddler specialist do not help to promote the trainers.

    There are numerous private childcare program in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan that are not providing quality care to the infants and toddlers they only want to get the money from the city to keep the children during the week. This is the reason I pose the statement, we need to invest in our infants and toddlers. I hope this helps. Thank you for commenting.
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      Jan 28 2013: I see. It is a very big priority in many other locations.
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    Jan 27 2013: I have very VIVID memories of being and infant, a toddler, and a pre-schooler. I remember that warm Spring or early Summer day when Iearned that I knew more about how the world works than my parents. I was 4 and a half. I was right then. I believe that I am still right.

    I eventually went to school to learn that I should not trust myself, and that I should allow others to think for me, and that I should follow instructions that others (as opposed to source awareness) set for me. It was a most grevious assault on my personhood. It took years to reclaim confidence in my awareness and understanding.

    Your "First 2,000 Days Campaign" will not minimize the possibility of a child becoming a product of the prison system. Look at what is happening to our prison system. In 1980, one in 27 children had a parent in prison. Today, it's one out of 7, and one out of 4 in the black community. Prison is being privatized and a HUGE profit-making industry is paying hundred of millions of dollars in each state, seeking more laws and harsher sentencing requirements. Fix that to minimize a child's landing in prison. The USA has a bigger prison population than most of the world combined. And it continues to grow.

    In addition to for-profit prisons, the U. S. government along with other major corporations have come to depend on the slave labor that these prisons provide. Prisons sell free or near-free (maximum of 0.60$ per hour) labor to businesses for profit, putting law-abiding citizens out of work because they have been replaced by prison labor - the new American slavery.

    Furthermore, look at the studies that show that the most important factor in determining prison populations comes from the disparity of wealth.

    You seem to be focusing on education as the avenue to wealth. You seem to forget that our economy is provably unsustainable, and it is unlikely that anyone born today will spend much time living by the rules that falsely appear to work.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html
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    Jan 27 2013: Is this controversial? Who would not agree with this well-accepted idea? Am I missing something?