Wyoming Kids First
Wyoming Kids First exists to improve the lives of all children before they are born through age eight, by supporting their families and communities in preparing them for a lifetime of success and well-being. We work at the state and local levels to share an ambitious process that guides groups through collaborative problem solving to achieve positive, shared impacts for young children and families. Our role is to communicate a comprehensive vision for early childhood work, and then help people – individually and collectively – see how their work contributes to the bigger picture of all children being safe, valued, healthy and prepared for success in school and in life.
Our approach is to help communities identify actions that will help them move toward a system that ensures families are supported, educators are prepared, systems are respectful and responsive, and that the community makes young children and families a top priority so that all children will be ready for school success and set for life. For us, “readiness” describes the capabilities of children, families, physical and mental health organizations, early care and education environments, schools and communities to best promote and provide for children’ success in their first year of school and beyond. Each component plays a vital role in the preparation of our children for success in school and in life; no one component can stand on its own.
A ready child is prepared cognitively, physically, socially and personally across many domains: language, literacy, social emotional, social studies, physical development and health, science, logic and reasoning, creative arts expression, mathematics, and approaches to learning. Children develop holistically: growth and development in one area depends upon development in other areas.
A ready family has adults who recognize and value that they are the first and most important teacher in a child’s life. Ready families take responsibility for their child’s or children’s preparation for success in school and life through direct, frequent, positive involvement and engagement. They provide steady and supportive relationships, ensure safe and reliable environments, promote good health, and foster curiosity and excitement about learning and self-control.
Ready Health Systems
Ready health systems provide children and families access to high-quality preventative, continuous and early intervention services to meet their physical, mental, emotional, oral, vision, hearing and nutrition needs. Quality heath services are facilitated by skilled professionals who engage in family support and treatment, and are sensitive to cultural values and individual differences.
Ready Early care and Education
Ready early care and education professionals accept all children and provide high-quality learning environments by engaging the whole community. A ready early care and education environment provides all children with opportunities to build a positive foundation for confidence, knowledge, skills and abilities. Children in ready early care and education environments are led by skilled professionals who recognize, reinforce and extend children’s strengths, and who are sensitive to cultural values and individual differences.
Ready schools accept all children and provide a seamless transition to formal school environments by engaging the whole community. A ready school welcomes all children with opportunities to enhance and build confidence in their knowledge, skills and abilities. Children in ready schools are led by skilled teachers who recognize, reinforce and extend children’s strengths, and who are sensitive to cultural values and individual differences.
Ready communities play an essential part in supporting families in their role as primary stewards of children’s readiness. Ready communities, including businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, social service and health organizations, community groups, and local governments, must work together to support children’s school and life success by providing families affordable access to information, services, supports and opportunities.
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Wyomingites abide by an unspoken code that recognizes and values people and communities as fundamental assets. Our work to support children and families in local communities sustains our part of a shared commitment to make Wyoming a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Can you imagine what our communities would be like without early care and education providers’ support of families and young children? Watch the video below, and be sure to thank the early care and education providers in your life for the important work that they do!