Suncoast Pre-K shortage affecting kids’ opportunities
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Over 50 organizations gathered at the UTC Mall for the annual Back to School Bash, including the non-profit Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County.
Their goal is to make sure kids from birth to the age of 5 receive high-quality education, which is something that has become harder in recent years.
“Here in Sarasota County, we have a dual crisis for childcare. We need more brick-and-mortar space, and we also need teachers,” said the organization’s outreach coordinator Ana McClendon.
The ELC explained that it is vital for young kids to be able to have the opportunity to learn, saying the first five years of a kid’s life matter the most.
“All of those sights, sounds, experiences that a child has, or let’s say doesn’t have, it affects them for their whole life,” said McClendon.
That is something Sarasota dad of two young boys, David Anderson, fully understands.
Anderson found a preschool in the area through word of mouth and explained that it was so important for his kid.
“Being in a different place and with his teachers and not his parents, that was crucial for us. We really knew, just getting to know his personality that was going to be an important part of his development,” said Anderson.
Anderson also recognized the pivotal role our local educators play.
“Teachers are crucial. Your children need to have experiences with other adults and authority figures. It’s invaluable for the process of them developing and getting ready for the life ahead of them,” said Anderson.
If you would like to get involved with preschool in some way, you can visit the ELC of Sarasota County’s website to find out how.
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