Educators stress the crucial years of early childhood learning

Cyril Josh Barker | 11/14/2013, 2:18 p.m.
Childhood Learning

Daseta Gray of Sabree Education Services says that Black children are not getting the preparation they need to excel in school during the early years of their development and argues that education needs to be a priority, even at infancy.

Grey is the founder and CEO of Sabree Education Services, which offers parents tips and tools to get children prepared before leaving home and going to kindergarten. The service is also offered to caregivers and offers cooking classes, book recommendations and lessons on brain development.

“We show parents how to use things at home at how to develop their child’s skills,” Gray said. “Research shows that a lot of children of color in underserved communities don’t have these skills. We show people how to get those skills and how to give a child time to be creative and reach small goals.”

Research shows the average 24-month-old is already behind, according to the Children’s Defense fund. One bipartisan research group revealed that 68 percent of Americans feel that children get to kindergarten and don’t have the skills they need.

“One of the reasons I started Sabree is because that conversation is not happening in the African-American community,” Gray said. “If you listen to politicians, they are focusing on kindergarten, but if the children don’t have the skills, they are not going to be ready.”

Right now, Grey said parents with babies should have age-appropriate books out on the floor, interactive toys and items that help develop the wrist and the fingers. She also says to not speak to children in “baby talk.”

“When you are born, your brain is 25 percent developed,” Gray said. “By the time you are five, it is 95 developed. Although the child will not talk until age 13 months, a child needs to be hearing language.”