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Commentary: Office of Great Start vital to helping kids and MI business
Lansing State Journal, October 2011
Michigan's youngest children will be helped by the state's new Office of Great Start, according to a commentary in the Lansing State Journal. In turn, state businesses will benefit.
Commentary: Gov. Rick Snyder's Office of Great Start will have long-term payoffs
Grand Rapids Press, October, 2011
Michigan business needs a top-notch workforce and one of the best ways to develop it is through investments in early childhood, a West Michigan business leader wrote in Saturday's Grand Rapids Press.
Commentary: State Board of Ed president urges support for Office of Great Start:
DETROIT - In a commentary published today, John Austin, president of the Michigan State Board of Education, and Dan Varner, a member of the State Board of Education and director of Excellent Schools Detroit, urged lawmakers to "direct greater support for early childhood learning into the reformed and streamlined Office of Great Start."
Editorial: Fight childhood poverty by fully funding Great Start program
Detroit Free Press, September 2011
Rising poverty, coupled with the state's changing demographics, poses a daunting challenge for public policy and Michigan's future. Michigan's population is becoming more diverse, with whites expected to become the state's largest minority group in just over 30 years.
Commentary: Invest in the early years, it benefits us all
Dearborn Press & Guide, September 2011
It makes a lifetime of difference, brain researchers vouch for it, educators swear by it, Nobel Prize winning economists say it is the best investment we can make as a state and nation. Parents instinctively know it matters.
Kalamazoo County looking at implementing Children's Healthcare Access Program
Dr. Lia Gaggino, August 2011, Kalamazoo Gazette
Excerpt: "When it comes to the health of our children and the cost of caring for them, an exciting new initiative has been piloted in Kent County that is showing positive health outcomes and true cost savings for children enrolled in the state's Medicaid program. This success story has the potential for statewide implementation."
Delivering high-quality health care to at-risk kids
Dr. Thomas Akland, September 2011, Battle Creek Enquirer
Excerpt: "There is a movement afoot in the way that health care is delivered to impoverished children in our state. The Children's Healthcare Access Program (CHAP) here in southwest Michigan, Kent County (Grand Rapids) and Wayne County (Detroit) has been working hard to bring communities together around the issue of delivering high-quality health care to impoverished children by focusing on primary preventive care and early intervention."
Medical homes for children can save public money and help kids stay healthy
Commentary by Dr. Thomas Teal, August 2011, The Flint Journal
Excerpt: "Most adults see the wisdom in Ben Franklin’s famous maxim, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,' and they practice what it preaches in their daily lives.Now there’s a new “ounce of prevention” for children who receive Medicaid that is proving its worth in Kent County, so much so that other cities and counties across Michigan may well want to adopt it."
State leads in early childhood efforts
Commentary by ECIC Executive Committee Member Anne M. Mervenne in the Lansing State Journal, June 2011
Times have been tough, but things are looking up in Michigan, especially when it comes to our youngest learners. Quietly, state and federal lawmakers have come to embrace what research has been telling us for decades now – that the years between birth and 5 are critical to future success, for children and for our economy. That’s a very good thing.
Snyder's school ideas are great for state
Commentary by ECIC Executive Board Member David Hollister in Crain's Detroit Business, June, 2011
Excerpt: Education just got a lot better in Michigan. And that's because it's finally starting at the beginning. Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced that he will consolidate a host of state early childhood services into an Office of Great Start-Early Childhood in order to create a coordinated vision and focus for public early childhood efforts in Michigan -- and ultimately make it easier for parents to get the help they need locally. The end result will be more school-ready children.
Preparing kids for school is economic development
Commentary by ECIC CEO Judy Samelson in Lansing State Journal, Feb. 2011
Excerpt: Last month, Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his State of the State address. Last week, the annual Kids Count in Michigan Data Book: The Education Connection delivered what amounts to a State of the State for children. The result can be summed up in a word: grim. One in five Michigan children lives in poverty. But our youngest children - those between birth and 5 - have it even harder: One in four grow up poor.
A big election for the littlest children
Detroit Free Press, Oct. 17, 2010
Excerpt: States like Florida and Michigan need all the smart, productive, innovative adults we can get. We have all sorts of longitudinal research to tell us the path to get there. That means early and wise investment in the basics: child care, health care, pre-K, screening and treatment for children who may have special needs, parent skill-building and mentoring programs. All must be high-quality, because only real quality leads to real and positive outcomes.
Children just as important as tea partyers
Detroit Free Press, July 18, 2010
Excerpt: The tea party movement may not be the most important force affecting the races for governor and the Legislature in Michigan this year.
Senate's cuts put too much burden on kids
Lansing State Journal, July 23, 2009
Tony Fragale, President, Lansing YMCA
Excerpt: Parents in the Lansing area and throughout the state should be alarmed about the Michigan Senate's plan to eradicate $103 million for pre-kindergarten programs that serve 30,471 of Michigan's most vulnerable children.
State needs to support early childhood programs
Oakland Press editorial, July 21, 2009
Deb Cherry, State Senator
Excerpt: “Academic research, staring-us-in-the-face evidence and just plain common sense show you can’t lose by investing in the first five years of life, when 85 percent of brain development happens. Our economic competitors figured that out decades ago. To its credit, the state responded to this crisis in 2005, forming the Early Childhood Investment Corp. (ECIC) and identifying early childhood as a strategic investment. ECIC has helped launch 55 Great Start Collaboratives statewide, each composed of local parents, business leaders and others. These collaboratives are charged with coordinating and improving programs for local children from birth to age 5.”
Let's See if Jackson County's Kids are Prepared
Jackson Citizen-Patriot editorial, July 15, 2009
Excerpt: “The Jackson County Intermediate School District, Community Action Agency and Great Start Collaborative rounded up some 1,800 kindergarten students last fall and measured the basics. How well did these youngsters know their letters? Could they identify rhymes? The role of early education should not be overlooked. If children get a running start even before they reach their first elementary school classroom, they will be poised to do well for years to come. Finding out just how much this community's kindergartners do know is just one step, but it should help the early-childhood push considerably. The community should welcome that, not just now but for years to come.”
Saginaw County newborns get a better start in life, but there's room for improvement
Saginaw News editorial, July 12, 2009
Excerpt: “The lot of newborns in Michigan has improved a great deal in the past 15 years. But, as the study shows, there's more work to be done, particularly in reversing the trend in low birth-weight babies. We expect to hear much more about this report and others as state leaders in Lansing roll up their sleeves this summer to tackle an enormous projected budget deficit that may be close to $2 billion. That's one-quarter of the state's $8 billion general fund, where most budget cuts occur. These numbers ought to say to our elected leaders at least this: When budget cuts come, leave the kids alone. They are Michigan's future, and they need the right start.”
Budget cuts wrongly take aim at youngsters
Jackson Citizen-Patriot letter to the editor, July 11, 2009
Excerpt: Everyone knows that state lawmakers have to make massive cuts to the budget this summer. What I don't understand is why such a disproportionately large number of those cuts have come from early-childhood programs like pre-kindergarten, child care and the like.