Goal EDL-1: Improve access to quality childcare and early childhood development programs so that more children succeed in school and life.
Childcare and early childhood development are vital to the success of Hayward's families and youth. At its most basic level, childcare makes it possible for parents, especially single-parents,to work and financially support their families.In addition, quality childcare and childhood development programs provideearly experiences that play a crucial role in the future success of children. Through early stimulation, the brain and behavior develop in tandem to produce motor, cognitive, and perceptual skills that contribute to a child’s ability to learn and develop healthy relationships. Extensive research has shown that early childhood development programs (such as preschool)significantly increases a child's chances of graduating from high school and college. In addition, children who attend preschool are less likely to be arrested, convicted of a felony, and incarcerated in prison. Investing in early childhood development can help the City achieve its goals of improving public schools, increasing local employment opportunities, and reducing crime. This goal and its supporting policies seek to provide Hayward families with greater access toquality and affordable childcare and early childhood development programs,includingpre-school, pre-kindergarten, and library and kindergarten-readiness programs.
The City shall encourage efforts to expand the overall capacity of local childcare and early childhood development centers in the Hayward community.
The City shall maintain, enhance, and promote early childhood development programs offered through local libraries, such as story time, arts and crafts, and learn-and-play groups.
The City shall coordinate with local school districts, park districts, childcare providers, and pre-schools to consider opportunities to implement additional childcare and childhood development programs throughout the city, such as pre- and after-school programs and summer camps.
The City shall consider commercial development applications to provide on-site childcare and early childhood development programs for business employees. The City shall consider surrounding land uses and the safety and health of children when evaluating applications.
The City shall promote the benefits and value of early childhood education to encourage parents to enroll their children in pre-school and pre-kindergarten programs.
The City shall coordinate with park districts, community organizations, childcare centers, pre-schools, school districts, and colleges to develop an affordable alternative to pre-school and pre-kindergarten, such as home-based learning groups and on-line programs that provide parents with resources and exercises to do with their children.