The early years of a child’s life lay the foundation for lifelong success. With a strong and healthy beginning, children are more likely to graduate from high school, pursue postsecondary education and successfully transition to adulthood. Ensuring Arizona children have access to high-quality early learning experiences not only helps prepare individuals for success but also helps strengthens communities.
To increase the quality of early childhood education in Arizona, Helios recently partnered with Southwest Human Development to develop a brand new Professional Development Institute at Educare Arizona for early childhood educators.
The Professional Development Institute is Arizona’s leading early learning professional workforce development initiative. It is working to improve early childhood education teacher quality and practice, which will lead to better classroom experiences for children and ultimately help ensure our state’s youngest children are prepared for kindergarten and beyond.
John Whiteman, one of Educare Arizona’s founding collaborators, was celebrated at a banquet in February after being named the 2014 Mesa Citizen of the Year. In addition to his involvement with Educare Arizona, Whiteman has several other philanthropic efforts, which include improving the lives of young children in Mesa and throughout the state of Arizona. He is the president of the Whiteman Foundation and serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Arizona Museum for Youth, the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Community Foundation.
Whiteman was instrumental in Educare Arizona becoming a reality in 2011 and continues to be a tireless champion and advocate of early childhood education in our state and beyond.