GLBR Early Childhood Business Summit

Calley, others to speak at early childhood summit
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:15 am
By Roger Bryant for the Daily News

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Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and other guest speakers will highlight the value of early childhood programs at a regional “summit” at the Apple Mountain Resort near Freeland later this month.

“High quality early learning programs benefit both the current and future workforce,” said Micki Gibbs, Great Start Collaborative director for the Midland County Educational Service Agency. “High quality care ensures that employees have trust and confidence in the care and education of their children … (and) early learning impacts the future success of children as they enter school and throughout life, creating a productive and impactful workforce for the future of the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

The 2013 Great Lakes Bay Region Early Childhood Business Summit will be 8-10 a.m. Sept. 27 at Apple Mountain. Breakfast will start at 7:30 a.m.

Calley is expected to highlight recent state investment and initiatives pertaining to early childhood, while keynote speaker Larry Schweinhart will discuss evidence and research about the impact of quality preschool and early learning.

Schweinhart is an early childhood program researcher who addresses policymakers, educators and advocates nationally and globally. He is president emeritus of the HighScope Education Research Foundation in Ypsilanti.

Gibbs said awareness is growing of the value of early childhood programs.

“It is important to remember that early childhood is part of a true P-20 (pre-school through higher education) system that impacts the lifelong success of students. The earlier we can begin with early learning and family initiatives, the greater impact we have later in life as the effects are compounding,” she said.

Emceeing and speaking at the event will be Jimmy Greene, CEO of the Greater Michigan Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, a national construction association. Greene will challenge businesses to get connected to early childhood resources in their communities.

Registration is $15 per person. Table sponsorships are available for $300, which includes six registrations and recognition on all event publications.

Proceeds benefit the Childcare Scholarship Projects of Bay-Arenac, Midland and Saginaw counties, which Gibbs described as “intentional initiatives that address the needs of low-income families with a goal of providing two years of high-quality preschool. Many efforts for four-year-olds are provided through the state and through private partners. Our goal is to provide scholarships to three-year-olds as a complement to the efforts for four-year-olds on both a public and private level.”

Major sponsors include ABC of Greater Michigan and Ferris State University.

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