Children in the classroom at Child's Path Santa Barbara early learning center.

The Value of Early Learning Takes the National Spotlight

Children in the classroom at Child Path's Santa Barbara early learning center.

The pandemic has placed child care—and the critical importance of early learning—in the national spotlight. Now more than ever, people are seeing early childhood education as the essential resource that it is. In a recent article on Inc.com, Sara Mauskopf, CEO and co-founder of Winnie, a search platform for child care and preschools, saw a spike in searches as states opened back up during the pandemic.

Child’s Path was one of the first early learning centers in Collier County to reopen during the pandemic, following all CDC guidelines for the health and safety of our children and our teachers. This enabled frontline workers and many other parents to get back to work with the assurance their children were not only safe, but receiving high-quality and affordable early learning in a classroom environment.

“As virtual substitutes popped up for just about every other aspect of our lives, there was no substitute for the physical in-person interactions between young children and other children and caregivers,” Mauskopf writes in her article entitled, It’s About Time: Valuing Child Care in a Post-Pandemic World.. 

“During the pandemic, parents saw firsthand that child care was not just a place to watch their kids.,” Mauskopf added.

There is also a greater push to make early learning available to all children, especially those who otherwise would not be able to afford it. In a December 7th article in the Baltimore Sun, a new measure that passed in Multnomah County, Oregon, which makes preschool free for all 3- and 4-year-olds, is being viewed as a potential national model.

As one of the largest providers of early learning for underserved families in Collier County, Child’s Path is committed to continuing to provide a brighter path for children. In fact, 83 percent of our children who were entering kindergarten tested “kindergarten ready” – far above the Florida readiness rate of 53 percent. Without the financial assistance we provide, many local children would not have access to this critical early education. The pandemic is driving awareness to this need, placing it center stage in a national conversation.

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