Building Blocks

Building Blocks

Research has shown the importance of early childhood education and development from birth to age five. In order to shine a light on the challenges facing Harris County’s youngest and most vulnerable residents – our children – we will look at the factors that put some behind the curve, what quality early learning looks like and how to improve it. We will see how parents, educators and local leaders can make sure children are ready to succeed in the long term.

Join Houston Community Catalyst in partnership with Collaborative for Children to explore the challenges and the solutions in Building Blocks.

#1 Early Education Makes the Difference

Research has shown the importance of early childhood education and development from birth to age five. What are some of the factors that hold some of our most vulnerable children behind their peers? The data clearly shows that educational outcomes are anything but equal.
In episode 1 of Building Blocks, we look at what is being done by parents, educators, and local leaders to level the playing field for all children, and how can everyday citizens advocate on behalf of lower income and at-risk families.

#2 The Parents Role in Child Development

You are your child’s first teacher. How you interact with your child in everyday situations and encourage their curiosity can make a major difference. Even at an early age, there are ways you can spark a love for learning in your children.
In episode 2 of Building Blocks, we talk with parents and educators about the best ways to create a healthy home environment for children to thrive in.

#3 The Role of Local Leaders in Early Education

In the Houston area, only 47% of children are prepared properly when they get to kindergarten. What can local leaders do to ensure that children in Harris County don’t slip through the cracks? Legislation can play a huge role in educational outcomes, but what is the political process to improve funding for school programs?
In episode 3 of Building Blocks, we highlight successes at the legislative level and discuss what else could be done.

#4 A Teacher's Impact

A teacher’s impact on a child will last far beyond the time they spend together in the classroom. What are some of the challenges facing educators in Harris County?

In episode 4 of Building Blocks, we explore these challenges and the best ways our community can help support teachers in the Houston area.

#5 Societal Cost Analysis

“Quality childcare isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity.” It’s an opportunity to invest in our children’s future by building them up with the skills they need to develop talent, leadership, and confidence.

In episode 5 of Building Blocks, we discuss the importance of early learning and the risks society takes when quality childhood care is not a priority.

#6 The Importance of Play in Schools

Learning is not just linear or a segmented routine for children. It can be fun, and studies show that playing is fundamental for early childhood brain development.
In episode 6 of Building Blocks, we explore the multiple aspects of play and imagination and how it helps to build a foundation for critical function and problem-solving with children.
The Collab-Lab, a mobile classroom on wheels, was developed to allow the child to be at the center of their learning. No predetermined outcomes or parameters were set in creating the Collab-Lab activities so that children could engage in critical thinking and determine unique paths to reach outcomes through play.

#7 Why Early Socialization is Crucial

Social-emotional learning, executive function, and cognitive skills substantially benefit early childhood development.

In episode 7 of Building Blocks, we discuss the importance of socialization in early education and how Collaborative for Children, is preparing children for future careers through our work in the Centers of Excellence.

As technology evolves, our young children, potentially taught by our informed teachers and administrators in the Centers of Excellence, will advance these technologies for future generations. We will continue to be high-tech but very much in touch.
Our Centers of Excellence are the test bed for what’s possible, and our programs and mission is scalable. Instead of allowing technology to manipulate our children in the Centers of Excellence, we expect that our students will be so astute that they will be able to manipulate technology.