10/25/11 — Partnership for Children sets date for annual meeting

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Partnership for Children sets date for annual meeting

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 25, 2011 1:46 PM

The Partnership for Children will hold its annual meeting next month to discuss not only the organization's activities over the past year, but how communities can band together to help local children and parents.

Child care centers in particular are one of the areas that are critical to a community -- and vital to the parents and children who use them, said Kim Best, community services director for the Partnership.

"There are over 130 child care centers in Wayne County, that allow parents to go to work and feel their child is safe," Mrs. Best said. "That's 130 businesses in Wayne County that provide funds for their county, so that these parents are productive.

"Child care is a business. It's a thriving business in our community, it's part of our economic development and we want to continue to support it and look at it as part of the business community."

This year's guest speakers at the annual community meeting for the Partnership reflect that message, she said.

The event, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17, will take place from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Oak Forest Church of Christ on North Park Drive, next to the Pepsi Bottling Co.

"The meeting is to inform our community on issues of early childhood and factor decisions among our legislators that will directly affect early childhood education in Wayne County," she said. "It's open to everyone -- parents, community leaders, business leaders, childcare providers, elected officials, agency directors -- because child care is an industry. What affects child care has a trickle-down effect and affects almost everyone in this community in some shape or form."

This year's theme is "Communities Building Strong Foundation," she said.

Dr. Olson Hoff, a retired pediatrician from the Black Mountain area and board chairman for N.C. Partnership for Children; Anne Bryan, a policy adviser for early childhood education for Gov. Bev Perdue; and the reigning Miss North Carolina, Hailey Best, herself a native of Goldsboro and Mrs. Best's daughter will speak.

"Hailey gives her stance on how early childhood education has affected her, being that her grandmother opened the first child care center in Wayne County," Mrs. Best said, adding, "We would love to have people come in and enjoy a light breakfast and listen to what these speakers have to say. It's not often we get this kind of lineup to come to Wayne County and speak.

There will also be question and answer session during the program.

For more information on the annual meeting or to register -- deadline is Nov. 14 -- visit the Partnership website at www.pfcw.org.