Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Leadership Group Works on Informing Parents; the Panel Points to Improved Early Learning and Child Development

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Leadership Group Works on Informing Parents; the Panel Points to Improved Early Learning and Child Development

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY KELLI PALKA

THE CITY OF HOPE

Raising Our Children

The City of Hope leadership group will focus on helping inform and engage parents as part of trying to tackle the issue of helping to improve early development and education for all of Jacksonville's youngest residents.

The group was responding to a series of stories in the Times-Union this week that looked at the need for more high-quality early learning centers in Duval County.

City of Hope is a multiyear civic journalism project looking at issues related to raising children. The Times-Union, in conjunction with its news partners WJCT and First Coast News, has reported most recently on early development issues, the importance of parental involvement and quality early learning.

The Leadership Group advises the journalism, which remains independent, and then works on its own to come up with solutions.

Susan Main, executive director of the Early Learning Coalition of Duval County, said two of the biggest issues are the need for better-trained teachers and for parents to know how to choose quality early learning centers.

She said parents will do what's right if they have enough information. But she said many parents still don't know how to find high-quality child care centers. Higher-quality early learning has shown to have lasting impacts on children to help them perform better in school in math, reading and other needed skills. …

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