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First day of school at Educare of Washington, DC

Educare of Washington, DC, opens its doors to welcome children and families today. The first day of school comes after years of planning to bring the model early childhood school to the district's Ward 7 neighborhood.

"This Educare School has been a long time coming, and it's a real turning point for the staff to see the program come to life," said Carol Howard, executive director of Educare of Washington, DC. "The heart of our work is building relationships with children and families, and we can't wait to see that happen."

To ease transitions for children and families, Educare will be opening a few classrooms each week for the next six weeks, ramping up to an enrollment of 140 infants, toddlers and preschoolers. A total of 50 staff members, including teachers, family support specialists and administrators, will support the children's learning and development.

"The teachers have created a transition plan to allow them to get to know individual children and families over the next few weeks," Howard said. "The teachers, children and families will begin the process of learning and growing together."

For example, the infant teachers will meet one-on-one with parents to discuss the daily care, feeding and sleeping routines of their babies. All parents have attended orientation meetings to meet their child's teachers and to familiarize themselves with drop-off and pick-up routines.

Educare of Washington, DC, also will serve as a showroom in the nation's capital where lawmakers can see first-hand what a quality early learning program looks like. The school will make the case for increased investments in effective early education programs for children in poverty across the country.

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