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MSU, MDHS renew early-childhood...

MSU, MDHS renew early-childhood partnership, announce curriculum development project

By: Anne Summerhays - February 15, 2022

The new curriculum will be made available at no cost to all licensed and registered childcare facilities 

The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) has awarded the Mississippi State University Extension Service $5 million to develop a new curriculum called “My Mississippi Adventures” for children from birth through the age of five.

The curriculum will impact early childhood education in Mississippi by renewing the early-childhood partnership between Mississippi State and Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood Care and Development that existed for many years before the contract was ended in 2016.

In 2016, the MDHS and MSU released the following joint statement on the decision to end the contract:

“The contract between MDHS and MSU to operate the Early Years Network program — including the Resource and Referral sites — will end Dec. 31, 2016. On Jan. 1, 2017, MDHS will assume full leadership of these programs. MSU and MDHS will continue to work cooperatively and diligently to operate these sites through the end of the contract period to continue to serve the needs of Mississippi families impacted by this program and to seek solutions that keep the flow of services from being interrupted during this orderly transition.”

“My Mississippi Adventures” will be made available at no cost to all licensed and registered childcare facilities and will focus on people, places, and things relevant to Mississippi.

“This project has the opportunity to impact both future teachers still in our college classrooms and existing teachers already working in the field as childcare providers,” said Michael Newman, director of the MSU School of Human Sciences.

Early childhood development experts hope to provide researched-based early childhood development curriculum and instruction tools to childcare providers in all 82 Mississippi counties.

“Setting the foundation for learning in early education lays the groundwork for continued educational success at the K-12 level,” stated Dr. Chad Allgood, Co-Director of Early Childcare and Development at the Mississippi Department of Human Services. “We continue to make improvements to early childcare by providing an umbrella network that touches on curriculum development, training, technical assistance, along with helping children with special needs, family, friend, and neighbor care, and a focus on leadership development.”

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth.