I applaud and support Marty Blum, candidate for the SBCC Board of Trustees, for voicing concern about the new direction for the SBCC Adult Education’s Parent-Child Workshops.

Until the retirement of The Oaks PCW director and the subsequent changes made to the program, the PCWs exemplified what is best in what research tells us is high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs.

The PCWs operated on the premise that parents are their children’s first teachers. The director and teacher provided positive role models for, were the teachers of, and mentor to enrolled parents. Families were supported by appropriately well-educated staff. Children also benefited by their enrollment in a high-quality ECE program.

Although the directors of the other PCWs remain, efforts of all four PCWs to continue to provide quality programs have been challenged.

I have been involved with the ECE community for more than 25 years, and am saddened and angry that the new direction seems to be neither parent nor child friendly. It is not only families who have suffered the loss, but the community as well.

I am hopeful that Marty will be part of a new SBCC Board of Trustees and that the issue of the PCWs can be revisited and return to their position as model ECE programs.

Florence Furuike
Summerland