Mar 03, 2016Rutland Herald
Danielle Wilder

I am an early child-care provider in Rutland County. I have been in the field of education for the past 10 years, and I have seen firsthand the important role the first five years play in supporting healthy development and laying the foundation for life. Learning starts day one, and it is important to make sure parents and caregivers are aware of the monumental developmental steps that are happening during those years. 

For instance, 700-1,000 new brain connections form every second, laying a foundation for social-emotional development, learning and skill-building. It is our job to ensure first experiences for children are quality positive learning opportunities so that the children of today will become successful members of the Vermont community. Every child deserves a strong start to life but to be able to give that to kids, we need to spread awareness.

I have been in Danby for about a year and a half, and although I participate in multiple community early education events (one or more per month) there does not seem to be a lot of interest in anything to do with education in general. Early childhood education should be a topic that is discussed and improved upon, not ignored. I feel like my little town needs help and soon.

Business leaders like Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry’s) and Mary Powell (CEO, Green Mountain Power) understand this is an economic issue. They have gotten involved with Let’s Grow Kids because they understand that today’s children are tomorrow’s work force and we need to nurture them for future success. If we all pay more attention to the critical developmental opportunities in the first few years, our children will be more successful later life. Join me and the Let’s Grow Kids campaign to spread awareness about the importance of quality child care in the early years of life for Vermont’s kids.

DANIELLE WILDER

Danby

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