Advocating for our children ... healthy, educated, safe
Our Work: Early Childhood Education and Care
- The Starting Strong Rapid City Initiative: This Rapid City initiative is a market-based, parent-driven, voluntary, targeted community-based scholarship program. It will give low-income parents of 3- and 4-year-olds the opportunity to choose a quality preschool from among qualified providers. Children who start early, start strong.
- The Starting Strong Sioux Falls Pre-K Pilot - Pre-kindergarten pilot delivers a report to investors. (2007-2010)
- Community partnerships: Voices has partnered with community leaders in nine South Dakota communities to develop plans to improve early childhood learning. Voices brought together government, business and United Way to fund a quality three-year pre-kindergarten education pilot for at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds.
- Forums: Voices has sponsored forums in Sioux Falls, Aberdeen and Rapid City at which economist Art Rolnick of the Federal Reserve Bank told audiences of business and civic leaders that with quality early education, children, especially those who are at-risk, gain an equal opportunity to learn. That equips them to become productive employees and engaged community members. Without needed support in the early years, those children are more likely to later drop out of school, receive welfare benefits and commit crime.
- Early learning investments in South Dakota: Voices joined with 10 states to examine public investments in education and development for children aged infant through early adulthood. To read the full report, click here. For a summary of findings about South Dakota, click here.
- Economic Impact of the Child Care Industry in South Dakota - overview and full report. This 2004 report explains why early education matters and documents the economic effects of the child care industry in South Dakota. It was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and prepared by SD KIDS COUNT and the University of South Dakota Business Research Bureau in cooperation with South Dakota Voices for Children.
- Taking Care - Listening to Parents Talk about Child Care: This report describes parents' desire for quality child care in South Dakota as reported in 2002 by focus group members in six regions across South Dakota.
- KELO partnership: In early 2007, Voices partnered with KELO-TV in producing a series of public-service announcements about the importance of quality child care. In addition, KELO features the Child Care Corner on its Web site to provide parents with information on choosing child care. KELO will host this Web-based information through 2008. Bookmarks promoting the Child Care Corner are available from Voices by requesting them here.