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The Lives We're Changing

Guilford Child Development has been serving the greater Guilford County community for nearly 50 years. Change is a part of our mission — change and development in the life of a child. Through our five program focus approach we work with children and families to navigate through life issues. We have seen changes over the last half century. We have seen the transformation of our expertise from "childcare sitters" to "childcare educators" for School Readiness. We have witnessed the development of the state rating system for childcare centers and credentialing. We have learned the scientific research and importance of early child education and brain development in a child.

Our community’s economic and social futures depend on both human and financial capital investments. Nobel Laureate Economist Dr. James Heckman has indicated that every $1 invested in early childhood programs – particularly for low-income families - saves taxpayers from $7 to $13 in future costs that include health care, special education, social welfare programs and productivity. These statistics are garnering the attention of more and more business leaders (from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce down to the local level) who are embracing high quality "Birth to Five" learning – in other words, early learning and development. And more and more bipartisan political leaders and policy makers are joining that chorus, all making the business case that robust public and private investments to sustain a high-quality early childhood education system are the best way to secure the future.

The growing body of compelling research, data and evidence has always been on the side of early learning and development. Some of the most impressive long-term gains are made by the most at-risk children. Too often, these children arrive at school unable to do what the other kids do; not because they are less able, but because they are less prepared. "Rewriting the future" for high risk children is a rising tide that lifts all ships. All of our children and families - poor and middle class, white and non-white, urban and rural – must be offered the opportunity for academic success, social mobility and economic stability.

Everyone agrees that the home is a child's first classroom, recognizing the families' impact on their children's education in early learning programs. GCD Head Start/Early Head Start teachers also play a critical and invaluable role in student success, and child care providers and preschool teachers need ongoing support and training to deliver high-quality early learning for all kids.

Research shows that the unrelenting stress caused by extreme poverty can produce detrimental effects on the developing brain of a young child and impact child development and learning for years to come. This is why GCD helps families achieve economic stability and security and pursue future generation solutions that address the needs of children and families together.

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How Early Childhood Development is Changing Lives

Decades of neuroscience and behavioral research have helped illustrate why early childhood development—particularly from birth to five years—is a foundation for a prosperous and sustainable society. Download and view a compilation of studies about how early childhood development affects future education, physical and emotional health, happiness, and life success!