September 26, 2014

Gillibrand, Maloney Announce Early Childhood Education Investment at Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum

Poughkeepsie, NY – Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced a $146,799 early childhood education investment at Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum in Poughkeepsie. This investment from the Institute of Museum and Library Service’s (IMLS) highly competitive Museums for America program will enhance school readiness among low-income and underserved children, develop new teaching techniques for early childhood teachers and provide resources for parents in the community. The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum will partner with the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, Catharine Street Community Center and the Poughkeepsie City School District with this program.

“This is a smart investment that can help give more Hudson Valley children the chance they deserve to start out strong, and go as far as their own hard work will take them,” Senator Gillibrand said. “These federal dollars for the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum will help this strong organization deliver quality education and other critical services that our children and families deserve.”

“As a father of three kids, I know how important it is to ensure our kids have access to quality early childhood education all across the Hudson Valley. Investing in early education programs that prepare our kids for the road ahead opens up opportunities for kids now and sets our children up for a lifetime of success,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

“It is well documented that success in school begins long before a child ever enters the kindergarten classroom and that a child’s earliest experiences directly influence brain development and the establishment of language, reasoning, problem solving, social skills, behavior and emotional health,” states MHCM Executive Director Lara Litchfield-Kimber. “This project will provide young children with the opportunity to develop fully across the five domains of school readiness, will encourage early childhood teachers to employ new teaching methodologies, and will show parents how to use the children's museum as a resource to encourage early skill development.”

Through this two-year project, young children from early childhood education centers located in Poughkeepsie will participate in programs at the museum, early educators will be trained at professional development sessions and parents will be engaged through family workshops. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Museums for America is the Institute’s largest grant program for museums that work to enhance the capacity for museums to best serve their communities.

In April, Rep. Maloney visited Astor Head Start in Poughkeepsie to announce legislation that would improve early learning opportunities for children and expand the child care tax credit. Rep. Maloney is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Strong Start for America's Children Act, an innovative federal-state partnership to expand and improve early learning opportunities for children from birth to kindergarten. Over the next ten years, the bill would fund preschool for 4-year old children, from families earning below 200% of the federal poverty level, while encouraging states to support preschool for young children with family incomes above that income level. The bill also authorizes a new Early Head Start partnership with childcare to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers.