The Children’s Movement of Florida has just released an actionable roadmap for the future of early learning policy and funding in the third-largest state, stemming from a collaborative process over 18 months called The Future Project.
After more than a dozen years with The Children’s Movement of Florida, Vance Aloupis will become The Movement’s senior adviser as he transitions to become a partner in the education-consulting firm, the Strategos Group, effective March 1.
Madeleine Thakur, The Movement’s now president, succeeds Aloupis as CEO.
The Division of Early Learning recently released a plan to spend significant pandemic relief funds to bolster early learning centers and family child care homes–as well as directly support educators. The Children’s Movement of Florida was pleased to play a role in influencing the spending plan, together with partners in Florida’s Early Learning Consortium. (If you are eligible for funding and have questions, your local early learning coalition will be the best resource for you!)
For now, here’s what we know:
The Future of Early Learning
The Florida Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual “Future of Florida
From Florida Politics: “During the 2022 Future of Florida Forum, Children’s Movement of Florida founder and former Miami Herald publisher Dave Lawrence spoke at length about the educational challenges facing Florida’s children — and he opened with some alarming statistics.”
From Tallahassee Democrat: "One hour of your time each week spent helping a child in pre-K to third grade learn to read can not only put that young boy or girl on equal footing with classmates, but it also helps ensure future academic and career success."
From WLRN: "Children learn how to communicate and cooperate and all of these socio-emotional skills – they develop that in pre-school. And, so, business who are saying ‘hey, I don’t have the right talent to hire.’ They were looking at their education priorities and starting earlier in the early-learning and pre-school years to say ‘This is where we need to get it right.’"
From Chalkbeat Colorado: "When universal preschool originally launched in Florida, the vision was to offer both a 3-hour and a 6-hour preschool day, but there was never enough funding for the longer day, said Madeleine Thakur, president of the advocacy group, The Children’s Movement of Florida."
From Miami Herald: Our founder and chair, David Lawrence Jr., recently received the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce “Sand in My Shoes” Award. This is an excerpt from his speech.
From Miami Today: “To this day, Mr. Love carries the lessons a mentor, Meri Armour, instilled in him, including that taking care of kids is the utmost privilege and priority.”
From The Miami Herald: “Carol, the mother of Nicholas and Wesley, understands that nothing is more important to a child’s future success than a caring, knowledgeable, loving and nurturing parent. She exemplifies the best: Caring, good, committed to making a difference. Wants for every child the same high-quality child care that her own children received. Wants every child with special needs to have a real chance to fulfill his or her potential,” Lawrence said in his remarks.
From Inside Business: “No matter what happens in coming weeks concerning government decisions on parental leave and child care, the responsibility of creating a sustainable workforce remains with employers.”
From Florida Politics: “If the pandemic showed us anything, it shows that early learning is also about the worker.”
From Citrus County Chronicle: “The grant program is measured for success. Reports show that the children who participate in ReadingPals have greater learning gains than those who don’t.”
From Palm Coast Observer: “By the year 2030, Florida’s goal is to have 100% of kindergartners ready for school and 100% of third graders reading at grade level.”
From Clay Today: “Reading to young children sets the groundwork for a child’s future ability to read and learn,” said ELC Early Literacy Coordinator Joan Whitson.
From Tallahassee Democrat: “Promoting breastfeeding is beyond just the responsibility of those in the labor and the delivery room. It requires a communitywide, public health approach.”
From Wall Street Journal: “Vance Aloupis, a Republican state representative in Florida who worked on recent preschool legislation in the state, said that he is happy early childhood education is getting attention. But he said any federal investment should give state leaders flexibility. ‘I don’t think it would be wise to have a one-size-fits-all conversation. There has to be significant flexibility provided to the states.'”
From Alliance for Early Success: “Florida’s youngest children and their parents are big winners with this legislation to enhance Florida’s VPK program and put a greater value on early learning,” said Madeleine Thakur, president of The Children’s Movement of Florida.”