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Early-learning specialists help prep kids for kindergarten

June 26, 2015
Quality and CurriculumSpecial EducationState & Local
Jessica Bock, AP
Washington Times
Even at age 4, Everett Baldwin Jr. was more than the staff at Brighter DayCare and Preschool could handle.
In his classroom, he was always on the move. He had more problems than other children his age with sharing and completing tasks. He preferred to play alone…

Organizations such as United 4 Children will send specialists into day cares to observe challenging behaviors in children and offer solutions to teachers. Parents as Teachers also has a contract with the Normandy Schools Collaborative to screen children younger than 5.

But what makes this effort different is the on-site, ongoing support and consultation at the child care centers, which often have high turnover.

“Without this help, we couldn’t have kept him. We were ill-equipped. We didn’t have the expertise,” Williams said.

Developmental screening of children in their early years can identify potentially serious problems or delays, experts say.

But about half the children who need help don’t get it until they enroll in elementary school, when key opportunities for early treatment and prevention of disabilities have been missed, according to the Centers for Disease Control.