I can remember being a a new mom, while in graduate school with my infant daughter, who is now in college. I wondered what I would do with her I while attended class. This was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. If I did not know anything about parenting I knew the importance of early child care and education, so off she went to nursery school when she was 4 months old.
In 1994 First 5 LA and ReadySetGrowLA , was not in existence, so I had to do a lot of research. But, today First 5 LA is in existence and they have launched “Quality Child Care Lasts a Lifetime” This campaign is aimed at informing parents about the life-long benefits of quality early care and education and tips to help them make informed decisions.
First 5 LA oversees the L.A. County allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a $0.50 tax on tobacco products sold in California. Funds raised help pay for health care, education and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age five and their families. First 5 LA’s mission is to increase the number of young children who are physically and emotionally healthy, safe and ready to learn.
I encourage programs like First 5 LA, because I agree with them regarding the brain development of a child during their early years. Ninety percent of a child’s brain develops by age 5 and these early years a very critical to the development to how a child thinks, feels and interacts with others. President Obama’s State of the Union Address also affirms value of early education in a child’s life achievement.
I am proud to say that I believe providing my daughter with early education was the best thing I could have done. She has been an AP/Honors student since fifth grade and is currently enrolled in honors classes while attending college. I do have a seven year old son, and have provided him with the same care. I am truly thankful I made the decision to do so with him as well; because the curriculum has changed a lot since my daughter was his age. Sometimes I question my level of education when he brings home his homework. Academically, they both have done well and are doing well. Early education has helped them socially as also. As early as infants they have not had a problem socially. I have watched them grow in so many ways through early education and know I made the right decision. I always made sure and I make sure I am involved in my children’s education and do also with child care, for they have both attended early morning and after school programs, as well. It may seem overwhelming or difficult at times, but with resources like First 5 LA many parents will find the ride much smoother. With finding the best education for your child it is important to research, research, research. Ask friends, family or people in the community what providers or schools they use. People love to talk about their children and education. Online research is always helpful, there you can find ratings on schools, ratios, etc. It is never to early to think of your child’s future. My son is in second grade I am researching where he is attending middle school. While I was pregnant with him, I researched where he would be going to to nursery school. It never ends and trust me it pays off and is well worth it.
I encourage families that have any questions to head over to http://www.first5la.org/ or http://readysetgrowla.org/ .
This is part of a of a compensated campaign with Smith New Media and ReadySetGrowLA.org. However, all opinions expressed are my own.