DPFC bus tour highlights child-care centers

Mar. 24, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

Durham’s Partnership for Children hosted its first Early Childhood Bus Tour of 2014 on Feb. 11th.

This event, sponsored by Mechanics and Farmers Bank, provided guests an opportunity to learn more about the partnership’s work throughout Durham and view the community through the lens of early childhood.

Nearly 30 people attended the tour, which kicked off with a volunteer activity at the Partnership’s office and then traveled to three sites showcasing high quality child care, education and family and community resources: El Centro Hispano, White Rock Child Development Center and Welcome Baby.

At El Centro Hispano, participants heard about community programs such as Circle of Parents and Motherread, which are both funded by Smart Start through the partnership. White Rock Child Development Center is a 5-star center funded through the NC Pre-K program, where attendees had a chance to observe high quality child care and see Durham’s enthusiastic young learners in action. The final stop on the tour was Welcome Baby, a program of the Durham County Cooperative Extension that also receives Smart Start funding from the partnership to provide a broad range of parent education and support services.

Throughout the tour,  partnership Executive Director Laura Benson reiterated the importance of investing in early childhood. “Early childhood development prepares students for kindergarten, which will lead to a healthier nation and more students ready for the workforce.”

Tour attendees saw this vision through the scope of work presented on the tour, and all left with a deeper understanding of the need for community-wide commitment and efforts to ensure that every child in Durham enters school healthy and ready to succeed.

As Benson said, “We need all stakeholders in the community to be about the business of school readiness.”

Upcoming bus tours are scheduled May 14 and September 16. For more information, please visit www.dpfc.net or call (919) 403-6960.