Better Beginnings, Better Opportunities
A Special Note from Dawn Jeffrey
Spring reminds me of growth. Now, it could be the warmer temperatures, longer days and brighter weather, but when I think of growth, I can’t help but be reminded of our WHY at Better Beginnings. Our why is simple, your children. It is our mission to help them grow in their learning, making sure they are ready for Kindergarten.
But here is the thing, we can’t expect our children to grow intellectually if we don’t give them the opportunity to do so. So, that’s really what Better Beginnings is about. Better opportunities for learning. It is our mission to invest in your child’s early learning experience by creating safe, happy and healthy, interactive learning spaces.
Safe. Happy. Healthy. Interactive. We call that QUALITY. Quality, early child care for Arkansas kids. That’s what we’re about.
The quality of your child’s early learning matters. And the timing matters too. When your child has access to high-quality child care at the earliest age possible, opportunities increase. Like, job opportunities, higher education, athletics, fine arts and healthy communities.
All of these opportunities will improve your child’s quality of life for years to come—much longer than his years spent in early child care.
Let’s dive into this deeper.
WHAT IS QUALITY?
We say this word over and over, but what does it really mean? Quality child care is about interaction. Whether it is interaction with her peers or her teachers, interactive learning leads her to new experiences and discoveries. We like to call it learning through play.
Better Beginnings child care providers put quality first because we know this is about more than your child having a safe space to go while you’re at work. They are committed to making learning an experience. At Better Beginnings facilities, we want your child to get his hands dirty. We want him to ask all of the who, what, when, where and why questions. We want him to share toys with his friends. It’s an experience for him, and we make sure it’s a positive one.
Better Beginnings providers are different than those who are not rated because they are required to complete annual caregiver training and curriculum developed by early education experts. These providers are focused on prepping your child for Kindergarten from the first day she enters their facility.
It might seem early to start thinking about Kindergarten, but it’s not. Arkansas needs all children to be school-ready by the time they start Kindergarten. A class with students on the same learning level is better for them, you, educators and the rest of our community! They need language, mathematical and science skills, but it’s more than that. There are behavior and development skills too. Kindergarten prep also covers social, cognitive, emotional and more skills. This is why you want quality child care, because Better Beginnings providers are focused on the bigger picture.
WHY SO EARLY?
Children are born learning. Their brains aren’t fully formed, but they are naturally taking in the world around them. And as they do, their brains develop more and more. But we can’t expect them to do it all on their own. We have to help them for the first few years of life if we want them to be ready to learn in Kindergarten.
Research shows us that from the minute a child is born, he begins to form what are called neural synapses. Basically, these are what helps your child’s brain send messages. More than 1 million new neural connections are formed every SECOND in their first few years of life. But, they won’t keep them all. The more often these synapses are used, the stronger they become. And on the flip side, those that aren’t used enough, go away.
By teaching your child through our learning through play approach, we teach her at an early age that learning is fun. Now, we all know there comes a time in our life when studying isn’t so fun anymore. But, by experiencing fun learning at a young age, she develops a desire to learn more and more. This is why it is critical to get your child in quality child care as early as you can. It will teach her to prioritize learning for the rest of her life.
BETTER BEGINNINGS MEANS BETTER OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR CHILD
At a Better Beginnings facility, your child will learn through interactive play, encouraging her to make meaningful relationships along the way.
Interacting positively with caring adults is one of the most valuable learning experiences your child will have, and it will teach him how to interact with classmates, future co-workers and family members. Remember what we said about those neural synapses? More experiences, stronger synapses. So the earlier your child learns to interact with his peers in a healthy way, the more meaningful relationships he will have in life. Your child will become part of his own community, one that is fun and comfortable for him.
Speaking of communities, higher-quality child care is directly related to economic development. Families consider child care a top priority when relocating. Employers consider child care a top priority when relocating. And speaking of workplaces, we won’t be in them forever. It won’t be long before our little ones are the ones looking for jobs and child care. Today’s youth determine Arkansas’s future. We are training nurses, teachers, artists, engineers and more!
Quality education for your child now, means a brighter future for us now and later! Basically, we are trying to give Arkansas kids a place that is healthy and safe and surround them with caring educators who help them learn through play. When we encourage interactive learning, it instills in them a desire to continue learning!
One day, they will be raising their own families in a thriving community like ours. And they will know the importance of providing their children with quality child care as early as possible, because they experienced it themselves. It is our hope that each generation is full of better beginnings.
Because Better Beginnings means better opportunities. And better is the path to best.
That’s what every child in Arkansas deserves. Our very best.
Be sure to visit our Family Resource Library for science, math, literacy and more learning resource activities!
All the best,
Dawn Jeffrey M.S. E. | Division of Early Child Care and Early Childhood Education Program Manager Better Beginning