ABC's and 123's:

A Blog by Action for Children

The Power of Early Learning, Quality Child Care, and Family Support 


Beginning the journey of childhood development heavily involves navigating the dynamics and interconnectedness of early learning, childcare, and family support. Let’s explore these crucial elements and how Action for Children is a strong partner in building strong foundations for young children in central Ohio! 

Early Learning: Growth in a Child’s Formative Years 

Early learning experiences are pivotal in shaping a child’s future, as they set the stage for social, emotional, and cognitive growth in their foundational years. It’s a time of remarkable brain development, with a child’s brain reaching the greater part of its adult size by the age of 3. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, vocabulary growth is striking in early years, with children typically learning 5-10 words per day between ages 2 and 5. 

At Action for Children, we understand the significance of these early years and their impact on a child’s trajectory. That’s why we’re committed to supporting early childhood professionals through specialized training and assistance programs. During this phase, rapid brain development intertwines with the cultivation of social and emotional skills crucial for navigating the world. 

Positive interactions and responsive caregiving lay the groundwork for robust brain development. Trauma or stress during this critical period, particularly without supportive caregivers, can have long-term negative impacts on a child’s brain and overall well-being and influence their mental health across their lifespan. Action for Children’s focus on nurturing environments that foster positive early experiences supports children in reaching their full potential and mitigates the potential negative consequences of adverse early experiences. 

Child Care: A Foundation for Development 

Quality child care programs are instrumental in laying the foundation for a child’s development, emphasizing structured environments that encourage social interaction and learning through play. Despite their crucial role, access to such programs remains a challenge due to affordability issues. The stark reality revealed by a study from Ready Nation showcases the staggering $122 billion annual loss in earnings, productivity, and revenue in the U.S. economy due to inadequate access to affordable, high-quality childcare. This inconsistency hinders parents, particularly mothers, from fully participating in the workforce, with only about 64% of mothers with children under 6 being part of the labor force, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

At Action for Children, we recognize the critical need to address these barriers. Affordability is a central concern as operational expenses, including staff wages, facility-related costs, enhanced programming for educational quality, regulatory compliance, and economic fluctuations, directly impact childcare tuition rates. Rising costs, due to increased property taxes, utility bills, or demands for higher staff wages, pose challenges in maintaining accessible and affordable child care options for families. Furthermore, ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations, maintaining appropriate staff-to-child ratios, and providing continuous staff training are crucial elements that contribute to quality child care settings. These necessary standards involve heavy financial investments that neither parents nor providers can realistically bear the cost of alone.  

Child care providers face the delicate balancing act of upholding educational excellence and nurturing environments while managing rising operational costs. Adjustments in tuition fees become essential to sustain quality standards, support the developmental needs of young learners, and ensure the viability of these vital child care programs.

Our advocacy at Action for Children revolves around backing accessible and affordable child care solutions, striving to bridge the gap and make quality child care more attainable for all families, which fosters not only children’s growth but also supports parents in their professional pursuits. 

Family Support: Empowering Families to Build Strong Foundations 

In addition to formal early learning environments, family support is the cornerstone of a child’s holistic development, influencing their emotional resilience, social adaptability, and overall well-being. Action for Children operates on the principle that parents, caregivers, and educators are the unsung architects shaping a child’s future, and our mission revolves around supporting, empowering, and advocating for them. 

Our comprehensive support programs are designed to empower families with essential resources and tools crucial for nurturing environments conducive to a child’s growth. Through empathetic parent education, group workshops, home-visiting support, and more, we equip caregivers with insights into effective parenting strategies and understanding developmental stages. 

Outside of the home, we also understand how important high-quality, reliable child care is, especially in decision-making for working parents, and we advocate for family-friendly benefits, including child care support. Reports from the Society for Human Resource Management and underscore the impact of such benefits on job satisfaction and career decisions. By facilitating access to quality child care options and healthcare services, we ensure families have the necessary support for their children’s well-being, empowering parents to thrive in their careers while nurturing their children. 

Moreover, at Action for Children, our focus extends to advocating for family-centric policies and empowering caregivers to champion their children’s needs. Through many of our programs, we foster community connections and understanding among families, nurturing a supportive environment for all. Through these concerted efforts, our aim is to fortify family support systems, laying the groundwork for sustained success and well-being for every child.  

At the end of the day, we envision nurturing environments where every child can thrive, supported by empowered and supported families.

It starts at home with comprehensive programs that recognize the link between parental involvement and improved outcomes and continues with supporting families and child care providers as they work to provide children with high-quality early learning experiences in the classroom. As a community, we can help by collectively championing childhood development, investing in family affordability, and breaking down barriers as we build a strong foundation for every child’s bright future.  

Author: Tyra James, Program Marketing Coordinator at Action for Children  

Action for Children is the local child care resource and referral agency for central Ohio, and is committed to assuring quality early learning experiences for all children. Our services focus on transforming the lives of children by supporting the everyday heroes who most influence our children’s early growth; caregivers, educators, parents, and guardians. Learn More.

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