Charlie Wilburn, owner of a trash hauling business, advocates more emphasis on the male presence in nursery schools to compensate for the large number of District children who do not have a man living in their home.
Mary Lee Smith wants the city to help provide sick leave, vacations, paid holidays and other benefits for herself and others who tend pre-schoolers in their homes.
Dr. Richard Paul Garvin, an internist and education consultant, emphasizes good health care and nutrition as a critical component of quality child development programs.
Garvin, Smith and Wilburn were among nine persons sworn in as new or reappointed members of the Mayor's Commission on Early Childhood Development in a District Building ceremony last week. Their varied priorities illustrate the diversity of concerns within the 32-member body. The commission is charged with oversight of preschool programs in the city.
One of the commission's chief purposes is providing "linkage of all early childhood development programs, public and private in the city," said commission chairman Joan Ellis Tillman. There are 287 day-care centers in the District, not including home care providers.
Patricia Miner, special assistant to the mayor for education, took the occasion to praise the Barry administration's commitment to early childhood programs. Funding levels for day-care have been maintained here while they have been cut elsewhere, she noted.
"The money we spend in early years is critical in this community, considering the kinds of family problems we have," especially the large proportion of single-parent families, Miner said.
Other commission members sworn in for one- or two-year terms included Mary Ann Gill, Joan Rhones, Diana Trister Dodge, Christine Norman, Beatriz Otero, Martha Queen and Ruth Uhlmann.