Midstate county commits to supporting early child development

Written by Rachel McDevitt, All Things Considered Host | Feb 7, 2019 7:00 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A midstate county is committing to helping new parents find support, to help make sure children are ready to learn by the time they start kindergarten.

Franklin County Commissioners recently passed a resolution to join the National Collaborative for Infants and Children.

The initiative focuses on child development from birth to three years old, a time of rapid brain development.

Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas said they plan to stregthen existing connections between health care systems, human services, and early education programs to make sure every new parent knows about services available to them.

"Largely what this will be is pulling together the multiple programs, to pull them together and make them easier to access," Thomas said. "That's probably the key element in all of this, is helping folks to navigate the systems, to make sure they have the support they need."

The initiative cites research that shows high quality early childhood development programs not only help children, but can deliver an annual return of up to 13 percent per child on upfront costs through better outcomes in education, health, employment, and social behavior.

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