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Very Early Childhood Education Program

Boston, MA and Seattle, WA from February 28 - March 10, 2006

The Irish Institute at Boston College is pleased to have hosted the Very Early Childhood Education Program, which took place in Boston, Massachusetts and Seattle, Washington, February 28 - March 10, 2006.  Bringing together fourteen education policymakers, school principals, early educators, and academics, seven from Ireland and seven from Northern Ireland, this ten-day exchange program examined how educators, education policy makers, school administrators, and parents in the U.S. influence and improve very early childhood education.

The Very Early Childhood Education Program featured academic seminars, visits to preschools and early learning programs, and included meetings in Boston with Professor Diane Levin, Wheelock College; Ann Reale, Commissioner, Massachusetts State Department of Early Education and Care; Amy O'Leary and Carolyn Lyons, Strategies for Children; Daila Davila-Gonzalez, Principal, Escuelita Borikén; Annajean McMahon, Program Director of Action for Boston Community Development; Dave Shaby, Vice-President of Operations, Bright Horizons; Professor Penny Hauser-Cram, Boston College; Susan Evans, Office of Special Education for Cambridge Public Schools; Barbara Krakowsky, Director of the Boston College Children’s Center; Professor Mariela Paez, Boston College; and Professor Beth Casey, Boston College, among others.

While in Seattle, the group met with Jennifer Annable, Principal, Experimental Education Unit at the University of Washington; Lily Kuo, Refugee Women’s Alliance; Karen Sakata, Manager of Seattle Human Services’ Early Childhood and Education Assistance Program (ECEAP); Sue Anderson and Jan Faull, Children and Their Families, Comprehensive Health Education Foundation (C.H.E.F.); Brad Wilke, Development Director of the Denise Louie Education Center; Nina Auerbach, Chief Executive Officer, Child Care Resources; Denese Bohanna, South King County Community Network Coordinator for Family and Child Early Support (FACES); and Carolyn Threadgill, Publisher, Parenting Press.