Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The First 1000 Days Of CT's Children Belongs To The State


On the heels of CT Governor, Jodi Rell's announcement a few days ago of accelerated certification for Pre-K teachers (as if people need certification to teach 3 and 4 year olds), the Governor and the National Governor’s Association held a summit, on January 15th, to introduce the State’s first birth to three system framework called,"First Words, First Steps".

You didn't really think that Birth to 3 would be excluded from government intrusion, did you? It's the piece of cradle to grave statism they have been pursuing for a while now.The Governor established this early Childhood Research and Policy Council through Executive Order 13, in February 2006.

Under the guise of shaping Connnecticut's investment to improve school readiness for all children, government will now be more involved in family life. Home visits, screening, tracking and intervention is the road we are traveling. at the taxpayer expense, no less. This includes prenatal care as well. If you are pregnant, or have children, there will be no escaping the government from being in your family's business. Their goal will be to create more government dependence, and according to a speech delivered by Elaine Zimmerman, Executive Director, Commission On Children; heck, they'll even pay your utility bills and feed your kids!

Their 2006 preliminary report "Ready by 5, Fine by Nine" (and here is the final version) says this:
About 42,000 children are born in Connecticut each year. It is the goal of the Connecticut Early Childhood Education Cabinet that all of them make timely developmental progress each year from birth to 5, that they stand at the kindergarten door fully ready for the grand adventure of schooling, and that they achieve demonstrable early academic success in vital basic skills during their elementary school years. They cannot do this alone. Families, communities, schools, the state and the early childhood work force all have important roles to play in children’s development and early learning.
So the major assumption is that parents are incapable of having, nurturing, and raising children on their own. The state must intervene in a variety of ways of course in the guise of "help", and of course their help is "for the children". This is despite the fact that in this report they admit that only a small number of families are in need:
"Cabinet members learned that many young children in Connecticut are healthy and are developing largely on target with what is expected for their age. However, as many as three in 10 young Connecticut children face important challenges to their development, challenges that could affect their readiness for kindergarten and their ongoing academic achievement. While a small number of these children may live in virtually all Connecticut communities, a much smaller number of towns are home to most of the state’s at-risk young children."
So even though only a small number of children are facing challenges, we will be undertaking a huge multi-agency program to micro-manage all CT families, not just those who are seeking assistance. This includes plans for universal preschool, mental health assessments of all children in schools and daycares, home visits, and all sorts of other intrusive programs that will ultimately dictate to parents how to care for their own children.

We already have seen with many families that if help or advice from the State is refused, that families are reported to DCF, and all sorts of miserable things can happen. If the "experts" in state agencies make "recommendations" as to the course of treatment, or the way in which children should be raised, and educated, and parents reject those recommendations, then you can bet that coercive measures will be taken by these agencies to get parents to comply, whether those recommendations are justified, workable, or desirable by the families, or not. We are beginning to lose the ability as parents to decide what is best for our own children! (if we haven't lost them already)

The First 1000 Days report is here and it is downright Orwellian. It is a multi-agency assault on the family in CT led by our Governor.

One of the points in this report is this:
"There is not yet a cohesive system for young children that supports good child outcomes and meets customer need. Family support, physical and mental health, early care and education and literacy should be aligned and integrated with data driven planning."
CT taxpayers can look for money to be spent on computer systems that are designed to gather information on and track every single child and family. And that's just a small piece of this comprehensive plan. CT is fast becoming a nanny state, and an expensive one at that.

Taxpayer dollars should not be spent to intrude upon the family and ultimately coerce families into raising their children the way the State deems best. This absolutely is NOT the role of government, and CT parents ought to see what this aggressive agenda is really all about; inserting government in the role of parent.