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What If You Could See Into the Future?

What if you could see into the future and increase the likelihood that a young child would grow up to be happily employed, enjoying good health, and equipped with valuable life skills to create a family of their own? What if you could make an invest today in the life of a little 3-year old that would decrease that child’s chances of falling prey to drug abuse, crime, domestic violence, and incarceration? The great news is that investments in early childhood education today do indeed impact the lives of young Americans tomorrow. Orange Children & Parents Together makes investments in young children every day by providing crucial educational programs that support early childhood development. These high quality early interventions focus on key academic domains as well as the social-emotional growth of young children. Recent findings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation celebrates social-emotional developmental outcomes from programs like OCPT because research shows that early learning builds a foundation for social successes as well as bolsters national economic contributions. Learn more about the impressive 20-year study by clicking here.

When I Grow Up…

When our students say, “I want to be a teacher and a scientist,” or “When I’m big, I want to be a Fire Chief,” we know we are paving a way to these wonderful opportunities. Orange Children & Parents Together understands that educating the whole child, as well as honoring the adult that they will become, means scaffolding a child’s cognitive development just as much as their social and emotional growth. Distinguished Professor of Economics, James J. Heckman, underscores the importance of the kind of work that we do on a daily basis in the classrooms and with the parents and families of our young students. Heckman promotes high quality early childhood education programs, like OCPT, because his research proves the positive life outcomes like school persistence, full-time employment, lifetime wages, better health and positive social behaviors that result from investing in young children early on. Our Strong Parents, Strong Kids initiative is meaningful and effective in creating long term and sustainable growth for children from at-risk backgrounds because like Heckman, we have proven results showing how parents are the catalyst for better education, health and economic outcomes for their children. It is our ongoing mission to provide family-friendly, community-based programs that enhance children’s growth, strengthen families, and foster healthy communities. Heckman echoes our mission, saying that “the earliest investment produces the best outcomes” for “individual flourishing and better economic and social outcomes for society.” Continue reading more enlightening research from economist James J. Heckman by clicking here.

Presidential Call to Action

This month, as President Obama celebrates the 32 million Americans who were once Head Start children, he calls on United States citizens to rededicate ourselves to building an inclusive educational system worthy of our young people. The president understands that an educated population yields a skilled work force and strong economy, and the route to education is through early childhood interventions like Head Start and Early Head Start. Organizations around the country, like Orange Children & Parents Together, scaffold early childhood learning from a strength-based approach that recognizes parents as the primary educators, celebrates diversity as community assets, and creates leadership opportunities for parents and families to participate in their child’s development. Orange Children & Parents Together continues to be recognized for exemplary achievements in the field of early childhood education, including excellent professional development and training for all of its educators and staff. When organizations around the country like OCPT provide high quality educational opportunities for children, offer family support services meeting authentic community needs, and continually train teachers and support staff in research-based methods, 32 million children win! Thank you for educating, enlightening, and inspiring brighter futures and better tomorrows for our kids!

Become the Future!

President Kennedy said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” If we all know this to be true, then why are 16 million children living in extreme poverty in the United States? Why would we allow our nation’s most prized resource, children and babies, to be overlooked and under-served? Orange Children & Parents Together has not overlooked these children and families. OCPT, along with other wonderful Head Start organizations throughout the country, invest in over one million children a year! This month marks the 50th year that Head Start has educated the youngest Americans, invested in their families, and therefore strengthened our national economy, society, and collective future. The history of Head Start’s birth and grow spans five decades and nine presidential administrations. The fruits of Head Start’s legacy are celebrated all around us today. The 32 million children educated through Head Start over the past fifty years, have become teachers, lawyers, police and fire fighters, mayors, and more! Visit the Head Start time line here to celebrate the significant milestones in our shared history. Join this American legacy by supporting the high quality early education programs at Orange Children & Parents Together.

What’s the Future for California’s Kiddos?

Last year 28,000 families in California wanted to send their toddlers to preschool, but the state was unable to accommodate these motivated children and families. Early childhood educators have been requesting funding to educate the tens of thousands of young children in California who desire education but lack the economic means to access it. Decades of research prove that children from low-income families who attend high quality early education programs, like Orange Children & Parents Together, are better prepared to succeed in kindergarten, have stronger literacy skills by third grade, graduate from high school at higher rates, earn more in adulthood and are less likely to commit crime as teens and adults. The State of California and the California Department of Education have a unique opportunity to strengthen the state’s economy by preparing our future workforce through quality early educational programs. Learn more about California’s current trends in early childhood education and local applications here.