The value of early childhood education is not a new idea. Neither is exploiting an individual child’s interests. Three hundred years ago, in the Age of Enlightenment, Jean Jacques Rousseau advocated that rather than metronome-punctuated teaching in which children were drilled in what they were expected to know, the preferred role of teacher was that of facilitator, in today’s terms something like a catalytic converter.
It took over 250 years for the educational reforms of Rousseau and those who followed to influence attitudes and curricula of early childhood education, although most systems are still playing catch-up including the Sunshine State, under the gun since its pioneer days when settlers lived on turtle eggs, and schools, if there were any, were palmetto shacks with snakes hiding in the rafters.
Despite Florida’s later start, Childcare Resources of Indian River, a sunny, immaculate and expanding early-care facility, only one easy block north of Miracle Mile, if you discount two cul-de-sacs and a blind alley, has provided for over 25 years the high-quality nurturing environment once suggested by Rousseau. More important, Indian River County’s premier preschool is affordable, its income-based tuition available to paycheck-to-paycheck folks who might need a little help, parents who are working full time, attending school or some combination of the two. Krystal Cominsky is an example of the latter, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Keiser University while working as a pharmacy technician at Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital and raising her 3-year-old son, Graycen, who recently informed his mother that penguins don’t fly.