Positive Impacts of Investing in Early Childhood Education
As part of the Right from the Start NJ series, Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Joseph Della Fave, Executive Director, Ironbound Community Corporation, to discuss the importance of investing in early childhood education and the impact it has on the overall development of children.
"We are pleased to be joined by our good friend, Joe Della Fave, Executive Director, Ironbound Community Corporation. This is, in fact, part of our Right From the Start NJ series. Throughout this segment, throughout all of these segments, called Right From the Start NJ, you're gonna see a website. Go to the website, get information that has to do with the care of infants and toddlers, which... and by the way, go back to your organization. You've been involved in child care for a few years, right? Since 1969. Describe it Joe. And it was our first program in response to demands and needs in the community. In Newark? In 19... in Newark. It's in the Ironbound section of Newark? It is in the Ironbound section of Newark. In 1987-88, we received national accreditation for the program. We were the first private provider in the city to get such accreditation, and we've been striving to develop the highest quality ever since. Joe, you know, it's interesting. There are certain aspects of a child care center, and I've seen yours close up. Mm hmm. What makes a great child care center for infants and toddlers? I'm talking birth to three. Right, right. Well I think you've seen our center, and you know we have a state of the art center. So we have a learning environment which supports a program... it is the program which makes all the difference in the world. And that program has to be the... Break it down a little bit. Yep. That program has to be based on well trained teachers, strong leadership, and a curriculum, and programs, and interventions that are readily available, you know, for the service of the children and their families. By the way, we're watching the kids right now, Joe? We're watching your teachers? Yep. Yeah. How do you get these teachers? How do you know they're well qualified? Because in some of these other Right From the Start NJ segments... Mm hmm. ...what we've heard is the caregivers, those teachers, aren't paid nearly enough? Well, you know... and that's true, I think, in all zero to three programs, for the most part. With federal funding for Early Head Start, we're able to pay them at a higher rate, probably, than a non-federally funded program. We're able to provide continuous training for them. They're trained from the start, before they enter the program with credentials. There's ongoing professional development during the program, and there's ongoing support from a program director, an education coordinator, a health and services coordinator, disability coordinators, social workers, and the like. You need all that Joe? That is absolutely necessary. We're..."