Dr. Winifred Hamilton Emphasizes Importance of Early Childhood Education

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stamford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Winifred Hamilton, along with superintendents from Bridgeport, Fairfield, and New Britain, participated in a panel discussion on the importance of early childhood education, Mon., April 29, 2013, at the Regional Superintendents’ Early Childhood Education Symposium in Ridgefield, Conn.

The goal of the invitation-only symposium, which was sponsored by Cooperative Education Services (CES), was to provide information, foster discussion and assist in planning around the role and impact of public schools in providing services to young children.  In addition to the superintendents’ discussion, the symposium also featured Barbara Bowman, the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development at the Erikson Institute and former consultant to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Milagros Nores, assistant research professor, the National Institute for Early Education Research; and Myra Jones-Taylor, director, Early Childhood Planning for the State of Connecticut.

Attendees included area superintendents, members of CES Early Childhood Council representing the region’s districts, Early Childhood Education representatives from the State of Connecticut, and potential funders.

“The symposium was a perfect opportunity to share Stamford’s early childhood successes, as well as our commitment to reach even more children before they enter Kindergarten,” said Hamilton. “We are committed to doing everything we can to provide high quality early childhood programs for all Stamford children.”

SPS demonstrated commitment includes:

  • Close to $1 million dedicated to our continued partnership with the City of Stamford and Child Learning Centers
  • One teacher on special assignment who provides professional development to align our current early childhood curriculum with Common Core State Standards
  • Appointment of a Director of Early Childhood Development and Initiatives to oversee all early childhood services and related community relations
  • Expansion of the current APPLES special education and typical peer preschool program
  • Increased summer programming opportunities for incoming Kindergarteners who have not had Pre-K experience
  • Ongoing research to track success
  • Securing of state and federal funding to provide Pre-K for educationally disadvantaged learners

Research indicates that the earlier a child begins learning, the more successful that child will be in life. Given that the Stamford Public Schools’ mission is to prepare each and every student for higher education and success in the 21st century, Hamilton believes, “the sooner we begin that preparation, the better.”