Houston nonprofit’s early learning programs shape the city’s future

To ensure the continued success of the Houston region, every child in the community must have the opportunity to learn in a safe and nurturing environment. Today’s babies are the workforce of the future. Every child, every day, absorbs lessons from its parents and caregivers.

In fact, a child’s brain architecture — constructed of thousands and thousands of neurons — grows and connects rapidly during the first five years of life. To fill these little brains with rich material, turn to a leader in the early learning space for more than 33 years: Collaborative for Children, which is focused on innovative early learning programs.

“There has to be someone who disrupts the status quo so that change can be opened up and embraced. That’s what we are doing,” says Dr. Melanie Johnson, president and CEO of Collaborative for Children, which features free early learning tools and other educational resources to help all youngsters succeed.

An ideal workplace strives to be inclusive and welcoming to people of all races, ethnicities, and genders. Your child’s learning environment should reflect these values. You can easily create this atmosphere at home or find a high-quality child care center through Collaborative for Children’s child care finder.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Collaborative for Children — in conjunction with Harris County, the City of Houston, and the Gulf Coast Workforce Board — helped more than 10,000 essential workers connect with a child care provider so parents could keep working.

“Child care is a priority for every community,” says Dr. Johnson. “It makes it possible for parents to earn a living and for businesses to have a stable workforce. We must gird our child care system so that child care programs not only survive, but also thrive after the next crisis.”

Looking for ways to celebrate diversity and engage little learners through exploration and play? Watch Sesame Street with your child on Houston Public Media TV and talk about the unique gifts of each character, play Bedtime Math, or take a walk and help your kids identify the different bird songs.

All these fun activities help enrich your child’s brain and lay the foundation for school readiness. Find similar activities to engage with your child at home here.

Here’s how you can help Collaborative for Children empower parents, support teachers, and improve child care businesses: give your time or funds. Visit Collaborative for Children’s donate page to learn how you can help ready our children to be tomorrow’s leaders.

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