Authored By: Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice
For more than a decade, Montgomery County has strategically focused on increasing investment in young children. Among our highest-profile projects is the Dayton-Montgomery County Preschool Promise, which is working to “promise” every 4-year-old in our community access to at least 1 year of affordable high quality Preschool.
But quality early learning experiences aren’t all that young children need. We have to do right by them starting at birth.
That’s why I’m so proud to help lead Montgomery County’s Birth to 3 Collaborative. This group is focused on improving services for our youngest children when it matters most — in those first 1,000 days when babies’ brains are developing fastest. Local organizations that support new mothers, young children and families meet monthly to identify how we can better leverage all of our efforts. We’re targeting our highest-need families, and particularly Black families who lack equitable access to opportunities and resources.
Our work and achievements include:
We’re analyzing data to track access to a health and educational services broken down by zip code, race, ethnicity and income levels. This is helping us understand where we have service gaps.
We’re working to expand evidence-based home visiting and promoting early identification of health and wellness needs.
Over 35 community partners are supporting our On Purpose Play initiative. The goal is to blanket Montgomery County with playful learning experiences that drive home the message that children learn beginning at birth.
We helped bring LENA® to our community, a research-based program that uses “talk pedometer” technology to increase language development and conversational turns with young children in the classroom and at home.
As a former teacher of children with special needs, I know how much early help can do for a child’s success first in school and then later throughout adulthood.
Supporting young children is an investment we have to make. When we do the moral and smart thing for children, we’re also saving taxpayer dollars and using the money they’ve entrusted to us wisely. I’m committed to using my voice and my office to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to realize their full potential regardless of the circumstances or zip code they are born into.
Commissioner Carolyn Rice currently serves as Montgomery County Commissioner. Prior to serving as the Commissioner, she served as the Montgomery County Treasurer and the Chair of the Montgomery County Land Bank. She also brings with her a wealth of experience from 17 years in the private sector serving in management and leadership roles. She is a native of Dayton and received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University of Ohio and her Master of Business Administration from Wright State University.