Children's Institute Visits the Northwest Region & Rural Early Childhood Education
If you are not familiar with Children’s Institute, they are a research and action organization dedicated to improving the odds for Oregon's at-risk children. They are an important driving force behind early childhood policy changes at the state level and early childhood investments. They work closely with state legislators and the early learning division. Children’s Institute (CI) strives to build support for a state early childhood system where all children have the opportunity to achieve success in school and life. Research tells us that services and programs that enhance a child’s early education and healthy development have the greatest chance of improving academic and social success. CI focuses on three key components through policy advocacy and community engagement to improve early health and education outcomes:
- On-track development during the earliest years of a child’s life (prenatal to age 3)
- High-quality preschool that adequately prepares children for kindergarten
- Strong system alignment between preschool and the early elementary grades
At its core, Early Works is based on the understanding that children will be most successful if they and their families have access to services that are universally available, built on community-school partnerships, informed by data-driven decision-making, and focused on a shared goal of school readiness and school success, starting from birth.
Is committed to serving all COUNTIES in Oregon who support Early Learning, they have been around our communities. A few months back in March we had the Children’s Institute visit Clatsop and Tillamook County. In Tillamook, they took the time to visit a childcare provider in Tillamook County. They took notes on how rural communities have a struggle with childcare due to the lack of support from the state level as well as transportation being a barrier for many to transport their children. The provider expressed their struggles as a provider in a rural community, “The biggest struggles of being rural area provider are that there aren't enough of us to fill the need of the area, and I have to travel about 10 miles one way to take the kids anywhere”. They took the time to learn about early childhood services in rural Oregon. This visit was an opportunity to highlight what is great about early childhood services in our communities and also share some of the struggles Tillamook has.
Rafael Otto “Senior Communication Associate” from the Children Institute had the opportunity to visit Preschool Promise sites here in Tillamook County on June 7th to visit and take photos of Preschool Promise classrooms. The Children’s Institute is working on a short publication about the program and would like to capture photos from a few different sites around the state. The CI visit was an opportunity for them to learn about the early learning program in a more rural part of the state, and to hear about some of our unique barriers to expanding access and improving quality of early learning programs in Tillamook and Clatsop.