We’ve known for decades that children in poor or under-educated families face more challenges in later life than their peers. But we also know that the most vulnerable kids, actually benefit the most from early childhood education. The Alliance for Better Childcare Strategies, known as A-B-Cs, is hosting a conference for early childcare educators this Saturday in Christiansburg.
Craig Ramey, distinguished professor Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, has been researching best practices in early childhood education for nearly50 years. “The single most important thing is that children experience warm and responsive care giving that has lots of language involved in it so that they feel emotionally supported, and that their curiosity is encouraged so they can be successful in new activities. “
Ramey and his wife, professor Sharon Landesman Ramey pioneered a study followed underprivileged children, and their parents. It found that the kids from those backgrounds who got top notch early childhood training actually out-performed a co ntrol group from higher socio-economic backgrounds.
Craig Ramey says they found a cascade of effects from better jobs and higher incomes, to better health and even life expectancy. “If we’re going to be the kind of egalitarian society that we want to be then we can relegate a certain fraction of the country to what looks like a pretty good likelihood of doing well, when we know, we have the tools to change that.”
Jenna Conway, Virginia’s Chief School Readiness Officer and Deputy Secretary of Education will also speak at the conference. Conway is piloting the Virginia First Lady’s early childhood education initiative and work to coordinate policies and resources to best serve Virginia’s families and economy. Prior to her appointment in June, Ms. Conway served as the Assistant Superintendent of Early Childhood at the Louisiana Department of Education. In this role, she led a first-of-its-kind early education transformation to improve and unify the state’s childcare, Head Start, and pre-kindergarten systems. She is a Virginia native and mother of three children under five.
This weekend’s conference is for professional early education caregivers, but the Ramey’s will give another presentation in the New River Valley November 15th that’s open to the public called, "Using Science to Overcome Educational, Health and Social Disparities."
"Using Science to Overcome Educational, Health and Social Disparities"
10:00-11:15, Tue Nov 13 at the Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg, VA
The lecture room is in the Village Center http://retire.org/index.php/lifestyle/the-village-center”
Download a copy of the Fall 2018 LLI Catalog at http://www.cpe.vt.edu/lifelonglearning/LLIFall2018catalog.pdf (see page 31 for the Ramey presentation).