ERIC Number: ED424940
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Sep-11
Reference Count: N/A
Early Childhood Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, September 11, 1998. Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.
Riley, Richard W.
In this address, Richard W. Riley contends that parents' most important activity is to raise their children. Parents, educators and policymakers can work together to create a healthy and nurturing environment for all children in America. Young children absorb and later imitate adult activities they see, and they observe their parents more than they observe any other adults; thus parents are their children's first and most influential teachers. Parental involvement in a child's educational process can ensure a successful school experience. Early childhood education programs bridge the gap between home and kindergarten and play an important role in the learning process. Four critical areas need to be addressed to enhance early childhood education and services: readiness, quality childcare, improved coordination of schools and agencies, and parental involvement. Because of the way the brain works, the very early years of life are made up of critical periods of language and cognitive skill acquisition. Early childhood educators, care providers, and parents must consider this growth when developing programs. Quality childcare should provide a safe and nurturing environment for children while their parents are away at work. Agencies that provide early childhood education and schools should coordinate their efforts to provide consistency. Parents need to work with their children's educators to ensure appropriate development. (LBT)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Day Care Centers, Early Childhood Education, Family Environment, Family School Relationship, Infant Care, Kindergarten, Parent Participation, School Community Relationship, School Readiness, Young Children
Web site: http://www.ed.gov/speeches/980911.html
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education, Washington, DC.