The Children's Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has received a $3 million grant to teach the latest child development strategies to more than 850 infant and toddler specialists and teachers working in at-risk communities in the Lone Star State.
Infant and toddler teachers play a critical role in the intellectual development of young children because a large amount of brain development occurs in the first three years of life. Children begin learning and developing a sense of curiosity very early in life.
April Crawford, PhD, the grant's principal investigator and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Children's Learning Institute at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, said that healthy and stimulating experiences help infant and toddler brains operate at their full capacity.
The brain's ability to adapt declines with age. That is why it is so important for children to get off to a strong start, because a weak foundation can have damaging effects on further brain development." April Crawford, PhD, the grant's principal investigator
Professional development services are being provided to specialists and teachers caring for infants and toddlers with the support of $3 million from the Texas Workforce Commission. The project began earlier this month.
As part of the grant, the Children's Learning Institute will establish and coordinate a new statewide Infant and Toddler Specialist Network comprised of specialists who support teachers of young children, the first of its kind in Texas. The network is designed to reach teachers working in underserved communities across the state. Related Stories
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