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As mayor urges ‘investment’ in preschoolers, Germanna offers degree in Early Childhood Development

Above, GCC Dean Bill Fiege talks about the college’s new Early Childhood Development degree program. The program will ensure that area preschoolers are prepared to start kindergarten.

This is the National Week of the Young Child. And Fredericksburg Mayor Thomas J. Tomzak, M.D. has issued a proclamation supporting its theme that more attention must be focused on early childhood development.

Germanna has begun offering an a two-year associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development in response to a mandate that requires the credentials of those working with preschoolers to be upgraded to improve the learning experience at a time when their young brains are capable of retainng new information at a rapid pace.

The curriculum is designed for those seeking employment involving the care and
education of young children, or for those currently employed in these jobs
who want to enhance their credentials. Occupational opportunities include
program leaders, supervisors, and/or directors in child development programs.

Tomzak said this “is a time to plan how we–as citizens of a community, as a state and as a nation, will better meet the needs of all young children and their families…. today we know about the importance of children’s earliest years in shaping their learning and their development. Yet never before have the needs of the young children and their families been more pressing.”
The mayor said this “is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of development at home, at child care at school and in the community–that will promote early learning.”
He called it “a good investment.”


As the bar is raised for preschool teachers’ qualifications, Germanna Community College is helping to meet the area’s demand for teachers able to prepare young children to excell in school. The program also prepares graduates to help preschoolers with disabilities. Head Start official Elaine Keville, above, believes increasing standards for preschool education will help Virginia increase its future economic competitiveness.