Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dr. Joan Lombardi - Honorary Co-Chair of Seniors4Kids

For more than 40 years, Joan Lombardi has made significant contributions as an international expert on child development and social policy.

She was the founding chair of what’s now called the Alliance for Early Success (formerly the Birth to Five Policy Alliance) – a collaboration of state, national and funding partners that put vulnerable young children on a path to success.

The Alliance was established by the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, where Lombardi served as advisor, offering support to states and other countries on early childhood.

She also authored a book, Time to Care: Redesigning Child Care to Promote Education, Support Families, and Build Communities, in which she sites Generations United as the only national organization advocating for the mutual well-being of children, youth and older adults.

Through a partnership with the World Forum Foundation, she launched the Global Leaders for Young Children program in 2004.

The program has since provided leadership support to 19 early education leaders from eight countries.

“There is a growing chorus,” Lombardi told EdCentral during an author spotlight, “calling for a pathway of services from the prenatal period through the early primary grades to prevent the achievement gap and get children off to a strong start.”

In spite of these efforts, Lombardi points out the haunting inequality among the nation’s youngest children and the overwhelming stress that families face every day without quality early education options.

As national honorary co-chair of Generations United’s Seniors4Kids, Lombardi and her co-chair, Mary Catherine Bateson, charge older adults to support investments in quality early childhood.

“We call on our community elders to be change makers -- advocating for better schools, improved childcare, and parenting supports at the federal, state and local levels,” Lombardi and Bateson wrote in their post, “Let's Raise Our Grand Voices in Support of Children and Families.”

For Lombardi, supports at the federal, state and local levels include new public financing strategies that bring affordable quality early childhood services to families and attract the best teachers for the youngest children.

“Let’s celebrate the progress,” she said, “but push forward from subprime learning to successful child development and improved outcomes, and towards the level of investment that all young children and families deserve.”

You can stay connected with action alerts relevant to national legislation and join a large group of like-minded older adults who care about, and want to support, younger generations. Learn more

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