Preschool development grant

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Yesterday, the Guam Early Learning Council presented to the Mayors Council of Guam about their plans to further childrens’ development on the island with funding they were provided.

PNC’s Devin Eligio shares more…

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A grant has been awarded to the Guam Early Learning Council to promote the development of children ages 0 to 5, especially those of lower income thresholds.

Studies suggest the first 5 years of a children’s life are crucial as their brains develop faster connections in that time than any other period in their lives.

In partnership with the Department of Public Health and Social Services, the GELC will oversee and support the Guam Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five Years to promote that crucial timeframe of childrens’ development. GELC Chairwoman Elaine Ecalvea explains, “And the reason for that strong collaboration is that it’s not only Public Health’s responsibility to look at how we can support children and families through a health and education system, but it’s all of us. Everyone.”

The renewal of the PDG B-5 grant will provide funding for the next 3 years at $2.7 million dollars per year.

The goal that Eclavea highlighted and hopes to achieve is for all children to have equitable access to support services that prepare them to enter kindergarten…

“And the goal is that if we did these things, if we work closely with the mayors and our other partners, like Guam Housing Urban Renewal, the Early Childhood Systems, that we’re going to see these and work with families to show and model and by coaching parents on how they support their children’s development.”

GELC will also roll out a program called Village Playtime. The program, outlined with a detailed educational curriculum, will promote family engagement activities for children 0 to 5 and their families that do not have any formal child care.

The GELC’s next step is to plan a meeting with individual mayors to establish sites for the Village Playtime to happen.

With as many as 14,000 children between the ages 0 and 5 on the island, and with the high percentage of infant mortality and premature birth, it is the priority of the Guam Early Learning Council to help lay down the foundations for learning, health, and behaviour throughout life despite Guam’s challenges.