Educare Center To Open In Brownsville For Kids Six Weeks To Five Years Old

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg and schools chancellor Dennis Walcott Monday announced a new early education program slated to start in time for next school year.

Educare is a preschool program for at-risk children aged six weeks to five years old.

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New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said an Educare center will open at P.S. 41 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn next fall.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

“By transforming an existing school building to house Educare, we are setting a precedent for integrating a high-quality birth-through-five center into a larger continuum towards college and career readiness for our city’s most at-risk children,” Walcott told reporters including 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

The Bloomberg administration also announced that 4,000 additional full-day pre-kindergarten seats will be made available at high-need schools for the 2013-2014 school year.

City officials said the Brooklyn Educare center will have teachers well-versed in early childhood development to help put those at-risk babies, toddlers and children on an even playing field from the start of their schooling.

“They hold them and talk to them and look in their eyes and have interaction. The very first way that children learn is through contact with adults in supportive, strong relationships where children are being attended to. When they think about something and when they look out the windows, somebody points out what they’re looking at and explains what that is,” said Susan Buffett of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund.

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That non-profit along with several others helped bring this six weeks-to-five program to New York City.

Experts said this kind of interaction builds the foundation for literacy, curiosity and the ability to persist in hard tasks in school.

“It’s been proven that early childhood education is the critical foundation to not just making sure children succeed in school, not just making sure they graduate from high school, but making sure they’re prepared to go on an excel in college,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Educare’s first center opened in Chicago in 2000 and has since opened in ten other cities across the country.

Research has shown Educare’s success in narrowing achievement gaps for children at a high-risk for academic disparity, according to a release from the city.

Educare is funded by capital grants from the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Irving Harris Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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