Prof. Williford Stresses Importance of High-Quality Early Childhood Education in PBS Special
Dr. Amanda Williford, Research Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, is featured in a PBS special program called “The Building Blocks of Our Future: A Look at Quality Early Education.” The program, which is a co-production by Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Midwest and WFYI public media in Indianapolis, focuses on the importance of high-quality learning opportunities in early childhood.
As a national expert in early childhood education, Dr. Williford stresses that the benefits of early childhood programs are only realized when children have access to high-quality and developmentally appropriate learning experiences. She says, “There is now substantial research from educators, psychologists, pediatricians, neuroscientists, and economists that all show support for the impact of early education on children’s outcomes. But, the important indicator is that the education has to be high-quality.”
The broadcast takes a look at several preschools in Indiana cities like Marion and Indianapolis to discover what high quality early education means. While some states across the United States have been investing in early childhood education for decades, Indiana’s push to expand access to high-quality early childhood education is a more recent effort. Through the voices of local and national experts like Williford, the program explores the challenge of balancing an increased demand for kindergarten school readiness with developmentally appropriate practices for preschool children.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Science, The Building Blocks of Our Future is available to view here or at WFYI’s website.