Cheyenne, Wy – A report from the state's Children and Families Initiative was unveiled Wednesday at a press conference in Cheyenne. The document will be presented to a legislative committee next week. Department of Family Services Director Roger McDaniel says this is not a set of final recommendations to improve the lives of children and families. He says it's intended to start a dialogue. One highlighted area in the report is early childhood development. McDaniel talked about how excited he is for the day when every child receives high quality child care.
McDaniel also warned against inaction on this report. If this report just gets some consideration by the legislature this year and then there's a sense the lawmakers can move on, then McDaniel says the state has failed.
Governor Freudenthal's priorities on this topic include problem-solving courts and expanding on the success of the drug court system. Another area is enhancing a pilot program to make schools the center of communities for families.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jim McBride says there are studies that show for every dollar spent on early childhood development, six to eight dollars are saved down the road.