College of Education Anna Miller, Early Childhood Education faculty and executive director quoted in Model D

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Access to quality childcare grows in Detroit
By Claire Charlton
Legislators, educators, and other stakeholders are beginning to grasp that daycare experiences are the earliest form of childhood education—a fact that child development experts have long known. "The research has been there, and we have been working a long time at making the public aware of the importance of those early years and the long-term impact on children's growth, development and later school success," says Anna Miller, early childhood education lecturer at Wayne State University. The measure of a city's vitality is the support available to grow and maintain strong families, says Miller, who also serves as executive director of the Wayne State University College of Education Early Childhood Center and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute Early Childhood Center. She feels optimistic about the many early education-focused initiatives that are forming. "We've done a wonderful job attracting business back into Detroit and some understand the importance of investing in young children and families," says Miller. "It's the message we have to send about the importance of laying the critical foundations for our future workforce. These are the children who will eventually be making decisions about our city, our state, our country." In addition to all the new daycare centers opening in Detroit, a brand new civic partnership kicked off late this fall with the intent to strengthen and align early educational offerings to all of the city's children. Hope Starts Here is a collaboration between the W.K. Kellogg and Kresge foundation, and will include more than 100 community leaders sharing wisdom about what young children need to succeed socially and academically. "We'll be looking at how we provide quality care and education and support for young children and families of Detroit, and how to make a coordinated system," says Miller. "It's really exciting because they are bringing people from different focus areas to the table."

150 years in the heart of Detroit