Early Childhood Matters was invented in response to acute needs and the vision of our city. Fort Worth’s public schools report that 40% of children in many neighborhoods enter kindergarten without the skills to succeed. Without basic social, emotional, early literacy, and critical thinking skills, too many kindergarten children quickly fall behind and never catch up. Over time, they may become discouraged, require additional resources, and drop out of school altogether. These children are robbed of future stability and success, and the city loses out on the competitive labor force its businesses need. Children must enter school with the skills they need so the schools can fulfill their role. That’s where Fort Worth Library’s Early Childhood Matters program comes in.
Children’s chances of success in school and life are greatly improved when their adult caregivers’ knowledge, skills, and behaviors are based on an understanding of how children grow and learn in the early years. Parents want to raise successful children; they will adopt helpful behaviors when they know what to do and when they have encouragement from their peers, family, neighbors, and mentors. Early Childhood Matters (ECM) created a network of early childhood resource centers to support parents and other primary caregivers of children under five years old. Activities at the ECM centers include interactive parent education, family literacy, and educational activities for children; programs are offered in participants’ native languages.
For more information about Early Childhood Resource Center programs call 817-392-7745 or email at EarlyChildhoodMatters@fortworthtexas.gov.