“‘Early childhood education’ has become a sort of catchphrase for politicians and children’s advocates like me,” she wrote. "As an artist ambassador for Save the Children, I’ve had the privilege of seeing Save’s programs firsthand and meeting with the parents and children that they support. I’ve sat in young mothers’ homes. I’ve seen how much these mothers love their children, how their dreams and aspirations for their children are no different than yours and mine are for our own kids. But the truth is, it’s sort of tricky to figure out what exactly “early childhood education” means, what it entails, and how exactly it is relevant to your possibilities as an adult.
“More than 60 percent of poor families don’t have books in their homes. It isn’t that kids should be reading by kindergarten, but they should know what a book is — how to hold it, turn the pages, and how to sit still in anticipation of hearing a story.
“And that’s why Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success programs are so effective. Through home visits, book exchanges, parenting groups and more, Early Steps helps babies and toddlers with language, social and emotional development. Just as important, the program helps their parents, giving them the knowledge and skills to support their children’s growth. And the program works: Kids in Early Steps don’t have to play catch up once they start school — they are in line with the national average from the beginning. More important, the parents we work with feel recognized, encouraged and part of a community of people who care about the future of their children.”
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