Starts with Love!In the article "Dr. Bettye Caldwell, early education pioneer: For toddlers, the real ‘Head Start’ begins love,” highlighted the continuing efforts of an educator who was instrumental in the early days of the Head Start program. After learning that the president was calling for universal pre-Kindergarten programs, Caldwell wrote a letter to President Obama to say she would be willing to help. Although she mentioned her age and physical limitations, Caldwell is also the "co-founder of the childhood learning initiative that inspired the national program known as Head Start."

In the 1960s, Caldwell participated in research which found that while babies have the same rate of development for their first year of life, this rate of development could change after that first year depending on environment. Hence the name of the program, since it aims to give a head start in life to children who might otherwise fall behind.

Research conducted by Caldwell and others has shown that children need to hear a lot of new words in their early years. For a number of reasons, some parents are unable to provide the kind of exposure to new vocabulary that is necessary for children to keep up with their peers.

Another issue Caldwell discusses is a child's need for support. And lest anyone think Caldwell is singling out parents with low incomes, she points out that neglect happens at all levels of society. Children born into various situations grow into people who are equipped to cope with life when they feel loved and supported.

Horizon Education Centers works to support young children and give them the academic and social guidance they need to be successful in life. We offer Head Start classrooms at all Four Lorain County Horizon Centers: Elyria , East Lorain, Southside (Lorain) and South Elyria (LMHA Wilkes Villa).


photo credit: @doug88888