The early years of a child's education, ages birth through five, are the most critical in a child's development. In fact, ninety percent of a child's intellect, personality and social skills are formed by age three. Studies consistently show that children who experience high-quality, stable child care demonstrate better language and math skills, are more able to form secure attachments with adults and other children, and develop better cognitive and social skills.
Despite the importance of early care, a significant number of Georgia's more than 500,000 pre-school-aged children do not have access to quality early care and education. Smart Start Georgia is changing this startling statistic by providing early care professionals with the skills they need to offer quality learning opportunities to Georgia's youngest children.
"At Smart Start Georgia, our aim is to improve the quality of early care and education for all children ages birth through five, promoting lifetime learning and ensuring greater achievement throughout the child's education and beyond," said Sharen Hausmann, director of Smart Start Georgia.
Through innovative programs, Smart Start Georgia provides financial support for early care professionals to continue their education, onsite assessment to foster improvement in early learning settings, and training to enhance learning environments across the state.
In its four-year history, Smart Start Georgia has developed a reputation as an agent for change, garnering much support from Governor Perdue and other officials throughout the state. Smart Start is a public/private partnership among the State of Georgia, the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, United Ways of Georgia, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and more than 40 additional supporting organizations.
For additional information on Smart Start Georgia or how to become involved, please call 1.877.STARTGA or visit www.smartstartga.org.