Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Commission looks at child development

December 12, 2001

Leavenworth County commissioners are looking into a new child development program to help prepare and educate children before they enter school.

Commissioner Joe Daniels went to a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, to hear about the Smart Start program.

The program is a nationally- recognized, award-winning early childhood initiative designed to enhance the development of young children.

Daniels said he was impressed with what he heard.

As part of the program, Daniels said teachers at two designated county day care centers would receive additional training and education.

Hopefully, the education provided to the teachers will help child development as well as help curb a high child care turnover rate, he said.

"This would be our first year," Daniels said. "There is no guarantee but what they are hoping is that they can stop the turnover and provide kids with a better learning environment."

Daniels said the program would help to enhance the development of children in the county.

"It will help the day care center kids to be in a structured environment so they are prepared when they enter grade school," Daniels said.

Amy Delladio, director of the Little Angels Learning Center in Basehor, said the turnover rate for day care centers is always high.

"There are always different reasons," she said. "People move or they come in thinking it's easy (to work at a day care center) and it's not."

Delladio said she thought the program was a good idea.

"Your main teachers have to be educated or qualified," Delladio said. "It is hard to find teachers qualified to teach pre-school."

The state of Kansas has already allocated the funds for the program to Leavenworth County, Daniels said. Wyandotte and Johnson County are also participating in the program, he said.

Daniels said the state allocated more than $634,000 to be divided between the three counties.

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