Categorized | Health

Governor sets early childhood development as state priority

Gov. Neil Abercrombie (center) and his Early Childhood Coordinator Terry Lock (to the governor’s left) met with a group of early childhood education professionals from around the state during the Fifth Annual Hawaii Island Early Childhood Conference. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7)


Gov. Neil Abercrombie recently addressed a crowd of early childhood educators who convened for the Fifth Annual Hawaii Island Early Childhood Conference, ending his presentation with a promise that early childhood development will be a priority for the state.

Close to 400 teachers, preschool directors, home-based family care providers, elementary school principals and state and county staff convened on the Kohala Coast for the conference, which annually provides networking and professional development opportunities for early childhood education professionals.

Organized by Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families, this year’s conference featured national speakers on topics that centered on the conference theme of “Creating a Community of Learners.”

Abercrombie and Terry Lock, the governor’s Early Childhood Coordinator, met with conference attendees to learn about Hawaii Island’s challenges and to share information about the state’s plan for early childhood education.

It is the state’s intent to establish an office of Early Childhood and subsequently a department of early childhood development to focus on all issues for keiki pre-natal through 8 years of age.

Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families, a program of Friends of the Future, is an initiative created by individuals and organizations committed to helping all keiki on Hawaii Island to be healthy, happy and to thrive by supporting families, strengthening practitioners and engaging communities.

For information on Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families, contact Angela Thomas at 887-1228.

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