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Tobacco settlement funds are boosting the state’s Early childhood education program

ky office of early childhood

Last week, Governor Andy Beshear announced the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood would be receiving around eight million dollars. That money is coming from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement funds to promote early childhood education.

Amy Neal is the executive director of the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood. She said the money will be used in a few different ways.

“Early intervention and prevention, to support mental health, improving relationships between the child and primary caregiver. Really to provide extra tools for a parent’s toolbox.”

One of the tools they will be using are some developmental screeners.

She said the screeners are for parents of children up to 3 years old.

“It’s just a very short, easy to use questionnaire that parents complete. It’s just about checking to see if children are meeting some key milestones, it’s just about really identifying potential delays.”

Neal said a professional will go through the screeners and then talk with the families. Kids will then be placed in the one of three categories, refer, monitor, or typical. She says this will help children be prepared for entering school at the kindergarten level.

Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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