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Monday, December 10, 2018

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SDSU's Sarah Garrity was awarded a fellowship by the Simms/Mann Institute. SDSU's Sarah Garrity was awarded a fellowship by the Simms/Mann Institute.

Improving Early Child Care

SDSU family development researcher Sarah Garrity has received a prestigious fellowship to help improve the lives of young children.
By SDSU News Team

San Diego State University education researcher Sarah Garrity, an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Family Development, was chosen as a 2015-16 faculty fellow in early childhood care and education for the Simms/Mann Institute. Eight of the 13 faculty chosen for this prestigious fellowship are from California State University campuses.

Simms/Mann fellows will be tasked with helping the CSU system to expand its early childhood care and education provider programs for youngsters up to age 3. The CSU is recognized as a top national producer of graduates who go on to become teachers and administrators in early childhood programs.

Garrity’s research focuses on a concept known as continuity of care in early care and education (ECE) programs. Under this model, programs assign a primary care teacher to young children at the time of enrollment, and that relationship continues until the child turns 3 or leaves the program.

“Continuity of care recognizes that children develop within the context of nurturing and supportive relationships that develop over time,” Garrity said. “I recently published a qualitative case study of the successful implementation of continuity of care at the SDSU Children’s Center, and my findings point to an urgent need to explore ways in which institutions of higher education can prepare the ECE workforce to successfully implement this practice.”

The 2015-16 Simms/Mann Faculty Fellows will participate in a unique professional development opportunity in collaboration with faculty from the California Community Colleges while helping to build the CSU’s early childhood curriculum. They will each spend one year completing a project that translates neuroscience research into practical applications. Additionally, each Faculty Fellow will collaborate with an interdisciplinary cohort of professionals to focus on integrating the latest research into their classrooms.

“Through the generosity of the Simms/Mann Institute, the CSU is able to further invest in its early care and education program and bolster the number of graduates with early childhood expertise,” said Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Loren Blanchard. “Learning starts at birth and by creating a knowledgeable and respected early care and education workforce, we will help create better students for the future.”

The Simms/Mann Institute Faculty Fellowship will prepare its graduates for working with the youngest children in the state. Additionally, 20 CSU campuses have early care and education centers on site, and these centers will serve as a vital place of training for the next generation of early care and education providers.