Connecticut Commission on Children: An Agency of the Connecticut General Assembly
The Connecticut Commission on Children
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Hartford, Connecticut 06106-1591

Phone: (860) 240-0290  | Fax: (860) 240-0248 | E-mail

First Words, First Steps
The Importance of the Early Years

What policies should Connecticut follow to promote the health and education of infants and toddlers? The Commission on Children and Department of Social Services (DSS) sought to answer that in a draft document issued in November 2006.

Entitled, "First Words, First Steps: The Importance of the Early Years," it can be downloaded here in PDF format. (Seven pages.) 

Plans call for submitting a final draft to the governor by June 2007.

Zigler and other experts weigh in

To coincide with the release of the draft report, the state's Early Childhood Education Cabinet held a forum on infants and toddlers at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on November 15. It featured a keynote address by Dr. Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University and Director Emeritus of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development & Social Policy, also at Yale University. He is best-known as the "father" of the federal Head Start program. (biography)

The event also featured a roundtable discussion that included:

-- Dr. David Carter, Chancellor, Connecticut State University system

-- Dr. Patrice Farquharson, Executive Director, West Haven Child Developmental Center

-- M. Alex Geertsma, M.D., Connecticut chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

-- Elsa Jones, Program Associate, Brighter Futures Initiative of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

-- T. Diane Wilder, MSW and M.Ed, Haskins Laboratories, New Haven (biographies)   

The event was televised by the Connecticut Network (CT-N), which provides free streaming video of recent events on its website. It also sells event recordings.

Photo Gallery

  From left, Social Services Commissioner Patricia A. Wilson-Coker, Dr. Patrice Farquharson, and Dr. Edward Zigler
  Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman with Dr. Edward Zigler
  Dr. Edward Zigler with Dr. David Carter
  Elsa Jones
  Dr. M. Alex Geertsma
  T. Diane Wilder
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