- Education: May 5, 2010
- Education: April 22, 2010
- Health: May 27, 2010
- Health: April 29, 2010
- Safety: May 27, 2010
- Safety: May 4, 2010
- Safety: April 26, 2010
- Writing: June 11, 2010
- Annie Busch (co-chair)
- Roseann Bentley (co-chair)
- Jo Ellen Branstetter
- Denise Bredfeldt
- Joan Cargnel
- Dana Carroll
- Amy Chenoweth
- Susan Cox
- Scott Crise
- Sue George
- Debbie Shantz-Hart
- Caroline Griesemer
- Pam Hedgpeth
- Carol Lohkamp
- Missy Riley
- John Rush
The hope for the Springfield metropolitan community by the year 2030 is that our community will provide the best home possible for our children.
The vision is for every child to grow up safe, happy, healthy and successful. Our community will be engaged to a level where each day, every child experiences caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education and opportunities for success in life.
We encourage you to review the DRAFT Early Childhood Development chapter of Field Guide 2030.
The very basis of a healthy, vibrant and productive community lies, at the heart, in the early years of a child’s development.
In the past decade teachers, parents, business leaders and public officials have recognized that the physical, social and emotional development of a child in the first five years of their life is crucial. A child’s capacity to learn is absolutely astonishing during these years. This is the first time that the community strategic planning process has included Early Childhood as one of its chapters. Our vision for Springfield/Greene County is that every child will grow up safe, happy, healthy and successful.
Although our community has made strides to improve outcomes for very young children, there are some troubling areas of concern. Greene County ranks near the bottom in rates of child abuse and neglect, and is almost double the state rate. This coupled with high poverty rates creates issues that include hunger, unsafe housing conditions, high mobility rates, lack of health care and parental stress — all of which disrupt a child’s life and basic well-being.
To address these issues, our committee divided into three sections: early care and education, safety and health. There is no longer any doubt that high quality early care and education is essential for the best possible start in life. The level of quality of childcare greatly impacts a child’s success in school. A child’s access to health care and freedom from fear are also critical to a child’s development. The following goals reflect our committee’s priority recommendations to greatly improve the lives of young children in this community by 2030.
In order to highlight the most important priorities, we agreed upon the following goals:
- Reduce child abuse and neglect in Greene County.
- Make affordable, voluntary, high quality child care and preschool/prekindergarten available for all children.
- Springfield and Greene County leaders will assist in making access to health care (medical, dental and mental) accessible, easy and affordable to all children, pregnant/postpartum women and families.
Many in our community go about daily life and never see children who struggle with poverty or abuse. Too often these problems are hidden from our view. We must make our community aware of the many underlying causes of lives in disarray. Too often these problems are rooted in things that happened in the first five years of life. Our high drug rates, our crowded jail, our illiterate and impoverished citizens reflect a cause and effect. (Indeed third grade reading scores are often used to predict how many prison beds will be needed ten years later.) Our hope for this metropolitan community in the year 2030 is that we will provide the best homes and the best outcomes for all of our children: that every child will grown up safe, happy, healthy and successful.
By: Roseann Bentley - Greene County Commission, and Annie Busch