ERIC Number: ED445793
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jun-23
Reference Count: N/A
Early Childhood Summit (Washington, D.C., June 23, 2000). Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.
Riley, Richard W.
This paper comprises remarks of U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley at the Early Childhood Summit in Washington, D.C. on June 23, 2000. The paper notes the emergence of a national consensus about the value of early childhood education. The paper maintains that brain development research coupled with new research on how children learn to read has given child care advocates and educators clear direction about setting public and educational policy. The paper argues that it is imperative to have a new, sustained focus on the years birth through five. The motto, "The Stronger the Start, the Better the Finish," is suggested for this policy focus. The paper challenges professionals to help parents in their child's earliest months, to move beyond the current early childhood system of patchwork programs, to change their thinking about how children think, and to collaborate to increase children's chances for success. The paper highlights the French and Italian early childhood education systems as providing valuable information for this country. The following suggestions offered for consideration by the Summit participants are outlined: (1) expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow more parents time with their infants; (2) enact universal voluntary prekindergarten programs; (3) translate research on brain development for parents' use; and (4) elevate the childcare profession and make sure that all teachers have a bachelor's degree with necessary specialized knowledge. (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Office of the Secretary.