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State of Early Child Care and Education Promotes Learning from Birth; HCPSS Launches Talk With Me! Initiative

June 7th, 2018

A child’s brain begins learning and growing from the earliest moments of life. Parents and caregivers who talk and interact frequently with their young children start them on a path that leads to better development in school and throughout life. Working together as a community to nurture early learning was the theme of the inaugural State of Early Child Care and Education in Howard County event, held June 6 at North Laurel Community Center. The session was hosted by the Howard County Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC), a community partnership led jointly by the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and Howard County Office of Children and Families.

HCPSS Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano, along with the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, addressed the importance of early learning and community partnerships that support young children and their families. Lisa Davis, HCPSS coordinator of early childhood programs, and Keri Hyde, administrator for the Howard County Office of Children and Families, shared kindergarten readiness assessment data and updates about initiatives underway in Howard County that join pediatricians, hospitals, childcare providers, public schools, libraries, business leaders, elected officials and other local stakeholders in providing resources and services that encourage and support early education.

“In Howard County, we want every child, student and young adult to have opportunities to succeed—academically, socially, health-wise, in employment and other endeavors. And we know how important a child’s early years are in determining future success,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman in a video statement during the session.

“Howard County is a special place because our citizens care about each other and our community, and we want to work together to give every child a promising future,” Martirano said. “The important concepts about early learning need to permeate daily life in Howard County, and we value and rely upon the support of many community partners in making that happen. I thank the County Executive and the hospital for their leadership and partnership.”

Martirano and Howard County General Hospital President Steven Snelgrove introduced Talk With Me! Howard County, which provides simple resources, tools and techniques that all parents and caregivers can easily and comfortably use in their interactions with babies and small children to stimulate intellectual growth. Resources include a new website, community trainings, and the involvement of local organizations and businesses. Howard County General Hospital, a partner on Talk With Me!, will connect families of infants and toddlers to the program.

More information about Talk With Me! and other ECAC initiatives and resources are available at