Just over a million dollars in state money will be spent preparing children in 91 counties for their first day of school. Terry Tolan, who directs the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, says the money will go to 58 Community Early Childhood Councils. Tolan says volunteers, public health officials, childcare providers, librarians and parents serve on these councils.
“Part of the beauty of the Community Early Childhood Council grants is that they are made based on what each community tells us their needs are in order to have children ready for kindergarten and their own strategies for how they’re gonna make that happen,” said Tolan.
While the councils are designed to serve the needs of their communities, they rely on the state for data. For the first time, Tolan says members can access a data base that provides specific information on their communities, their children and on their readiness for kindergarten.
“So they can actually see in each of the five developmental domains how ready kids are at the time they arrive at kindergarten door and can use that information along with other data to craft a plan for how they are gonna improve outcomes for kids preschool age kids,” added Tolan.
Grants ranging up to 50-thousand dollars will go to programs in 91 counties. Volunteers, public health officials, childcare providers, librarians, and parents sit on these local councils.