Speech is an important developmental milestone for toddlers. Parents often worry if their children are talking enough by age two; what they don't realize is it's actually a two-fold issue.More >> Speech is an important developmental milestone for toddlers. Parents often worry if their children are talking enough by age two; what they don't realize is it's actually a two-fold issue. Professional therapists will tell you it's important to evaluate a child's speech and language.More >> It's probably one of the most challenging parts of parenting - managing those inevitable temper tantrums. It may be called the "terrible twos," but many parents say they notice it more around age threeMore >> It's probably one of the most challenging parts of parenting - managing those inevitable temper tantrums. It may be called the "terrible twos," but many parents say they notice it more around age three - A strong-willed toddler throws a fit when he or she doesn't get what they want. A Gulfport child psychiatrist offers advice for parents.More >> The state's first pre-K program is moving forward. The Mississippi Department of Education will start dispersing nearly $3 million in February to help bring more quality education to pre-schoolers. ElevenMore >> The Mississippi Department of Education will start dispersing nearly $3 million in February to help bring more quality education to pre-schoolers. Eleven groups across the state are receiving a big chunk of that money.More >> "I think the first thing is. Don't make an appointment." Charlotte Orsborn says impromptu visits to child care facilities are the best way to see them in action. "You need to just drop in, you knowMore >> So many working parents rely on child care centers to be a home away from home for their children. Meggan Gray found some expert advice for parents who are in the process of choosing a child care provider.More >> Meggan Gray shares advice for parents as they prepare their little ones for that first day of kindergarten. There are several skills that are essential for success in that first year of school.More >> "Hickory dickory dock. The mouse ran up the clock." About ten students recite nursery rhymes at the Biloxi Excel by 5 Family Resource Center at the old Lopez school. They're taking part in a free classMore >> "Teaching Tots on Tuesdays" caters to children ages three to five. They meet once every other month at the Biloxi Excel by 5 Family Resource Center, to learn vital skills for Kindergarten.More >> What do math and science have to do with the game of golf? A lot, if you ask the director of Chevron's Strategic Partnerships, Glenn Weckerlin. "It's a little bit of a traveling road show for us, butMore >> The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic this week is helping little ones gain an interest in math and science. How you ask?? Well, through an interactive exhibit that travels to various sporting events. But this time, it has a brand new component specifically for children birth to age five. Meggan Gray takes you inside the STEM Zone at Fallen Oak.More >> Jack and the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty, and Peter Rabbit - The children's library inside Hancock County's Bay St. Louis branch is already filled with fairy tales and nursery rhymes, perfect for piquingMore >> Exciting things are happening in Hancock County right now for children birth to age five. As Meggan Gray found out, the county's Excel by 5 coalition has been working very hard to give parents new resources to help their children grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> It's a unique approach to helping some of the tiniest babies not only survive, but also thrive. Memorial Hospital at Gulfport recently became the only collection site in the state for donor breast milk.More >> It's a unique approach to helping some of the tiniest babies not only survive, but also thrive. Memorial Hospital at Gulfport recently became the only collection site in the state for donor breast milk. In some cases, the donor milk is the best option for babies born too soon.More >> Gulfport four-year-olds are getting a jump start on their education, by attending one of the state's only free, pre-K four classes.More >> Education is a critical issue facing the nation right now, especially here in Mississippi. Many believe the key to breaking the cycle is reaching out to our children before they enter kindergarten. That's what Gulfport's PreK4Ward pilot program is all about.More >> Strange new sounds and unfamiliar tools - it's no wonder why some little ones are a bit nervous about their first trip to the dentist. But if you want to limit those visits, the best thing you can doMore >> No doubt even the littlest of ghouls and goblins are hoarding some pretty impressive Halloween treats Thursday. But toddler beware - All that sugar is harmful to your teeth. Meggan Gray reminds parents about the importance of good dental hygiene for your preschoolers, and how it can help little ones grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> Some advice this Thursday morning from the experts on how to help your little one grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn. Doctors are weighing in on babycenter.com about the top five things they wishMore >> Some advice this Thursday morning from the experts on how to help your little one grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> Excel by 5 held its fourth annual summit in Jackson Wednesday. Meggan Gray was there to get an update on the initiative.More >> Leaders across this state who are dedicated to helping children birth to age five grow up happy, healthy and ready to learn just met for a celebration of sorts. Excel by 5 held its fourth annual summit in Jackson Wednesday. Meggan Gray was there to get an update on the initiative that is changing the way Mississippi thinks about early childhood education.More >> Children, especially five and under, are so eager to connect with adults. Here are some easy ways to build your little one's confidence and their knowledge, with some advice from the organization, Born Learning.More >> Governor Phil Bryant has declared February 7-14 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week for our state. CHD is one of the most common birth defects, affecting about 1 in every 100 babies. Meggan Gray has an update on a CHD baby WLOX viewers met last year.More >> Starting in February, there will be thousands more child care certificates available for children in our state. What are these certificates, and how are we getting so many more? Meggan Gray spoke with the director of the Mississippi Low Income Child Care Initiative to get the answers.More >> Toy shopping can be overwhelming! Kim Gowdy, an area agent with the Mississippi State Extension Service, has some suggestions for gifts that are not only entertaining for children, but also educational.More >> Thursday is the March of Dimes first World Prematurity Day. In Mississippi, one in eight babies will be born premature. Those that are born in the lower six counties will be cared for by south Mississippi's only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. It has a full staff of certified neonatologists, but as Meggan Gray found out, it's the mothers that really hold the key to their baby's success.More >> A successful, free pre-K program in Gulfport is about to expand to Hancock County. The Gulfport Pre-School project has joined forces with the Gulf Coast Business Council to create the South Mississippi PreK4ward Initiative. The goal is to eventually bring free, quality early childhood education to all three coastal counties.More >> For parents, every moment can be a teaching moment between you and your child birth to age five. Finding ways to incorporate rhymes, games, and play into your everyday routine cannot only be beneficial to your little one's development, but also rewarding for you.More >> Jeannie Goff was one of the first to take advantage of Pascagoula's Imagination Library. Now, she makes reading a part of her daily routine with her five year old son Nate, and his baby sister, Jillian.More >> Biloxi's Excel by 5 Coalition has decided to go above and beyond the call of duty, to make sure children in childcare centers across the city are getting extra exposure to art.More >> Cherish the moments, because before you know it, your little one will be all grown up. So instead of using the television to keep your child occupied during chore time, invite your toddler to help you around the house to create memorable, teaching.More >> Biloxi has been certified as an Excel by 5 community, meaning parents of pre-schoolers will be able to more easily find resources to help prepare their children to enter school.More >> The summer months are a perfect opportunity for parents to continue teaching children at home. And the great part - it can mean a lot of fun for both you and your little one.More >> Thanks to a pilot program in Gulfport, more than a dozen four-year olds are more than ready to enter Kindergarten. This week, Gulfport's free pre-k program at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center graduated its second class. Meggan Gray stopped by their graduation rehearsal to see just how the program is helping our young children grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> Biloxi has spent the past two years helping children birth to age five grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn. Coordinator Susan Hunt gives an update on GMM, and talks about some upcoming events for children.More >> Research shows autism now affects one in every 110 children in the U.S. That's a daunting number for parents, especially those who may be wondering if their child is suffering from the disorder. Now, there is help specifically for those parents. Meggan Gray tells us about a first of its kind clinic in south Mississippi.More >> Whether you're a working parent, or a stay at home mom, it's vital that you spend time with your children every day - especially when they're young - developing their speech and motor skills. It's never too early to start. Debby Renfro, co-founder of Excel by 5, came to my house recently for a play date with my two-year-old son, Austin. She showed us some fun, inexpensive ways parents can help children grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> There's an early childhood education center in the Bay-Waveland school district, that's trying to raise the standard for quality early care. The Early Education Center in Waveland is currently a four-star pre-school for children ages six weeks to four years old. Meggan Gray shows how it's helping children in the Bay-Waveland area grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> Educators agree, one way to make sure your child is ready to start school by age five, is to get them in a classroom setting with other children as early as possible. Meggan Gray takes us inside the Bear Cub Club at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, for ways to keep your little one happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> Excel by 5 is a statewide initiative to help communities become more child-friendly. Its main goal is helping children grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn. The best way to do that, is to make sure every child is ready to enter kindergarten by age five. So, parents, here's a list of what teachers say are essential skills for success in Kindergarten.More >> 2010 has been a very productive year for Excel by 5. Currently, there are 24 communities in Mississippi working with Excel by 5, including seven right here in south Mississippi. Excel by 5 helps communities become certified as child-friendly, and gives them the tools they need to help children from birth to age five grow up happy, healthy, and ready to enter Kindergarten. Steve Refroe of Chevron updated those efforts Thursday on Good Morning Mississippi.More >> With the Christmas season upon us, now is a perfect time to remind parents of some important ways to keep the holidays safe so our little ones can grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> South Mississippi is setting the example when it comes to Excel by 5. Several communities have committed to becoming more child-friendly, by going through the Excel by 5 certification process. Meggan Gray updates those efforts.More >> The Biloxi Excel by 5 Coalition is creating the city's only Family Resource Center. Meggan Gray takes us inside the south wing of Lopez Elementary, for a sneak peek at the facility completely devoted to helping children grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> Excel by 5 is an innovative early childhood community certification process. It focuses on every aspect of nurturing children from birth to age five, including their education, family, health, and community involvement. Time and time again, studies have proven if children aren't learning during those critical formative years, then they won't be ready for kindergarten and will likely fall behind.More >> New numbers reveal Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the nation. So, what does that mean for children in those households? How can their parents afford to give them the head start they need in life by enrolling them in pre-K programs, when Mississippi doesn't offer state funded pre-K? There is hope, and it is called Head Start.More >> Regular visits to the doctor's office during a child's formative years can play a critical role in their development. Meggan Gray talks to a Biloxi pediatrician who's taking part in an upcoming health fair, about the importance of preventative care for young children.More >> With children in south Mississippi just going back to school, it's definitely a good time to remind parents of little ones what they can be doing now to make sure their toddlers are ready for Kindergarten when they turn five. Here's a look at some of the skills teachers say are essential for successful entry into Kindergarten.More >> Pascagoula is once again showing its commitment to children. Volunteers have transformed a section of Beach Park into an adventurous place designed to help toddlers thrive. It's called a "Born Learning Trail." As Meggan Gray found out, it's a way mommies and daddies can have a lot of fun while helping their little ones grow up happy, healthy and ready to learn.More >> If you're a parent who's always looking for ways to help your children learn, you may want to consider the Search Institute's checklist for Developmental Assets. Following these guidelines, especially in those critical first years, can make a huge impact in your toddler's life. They encourage children to grow up as healthy, caring, and responsible individuals.More >> Search Institute has identified 40 "developmental assets" to help young children grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.More >> Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System is a program that rates participating child care centers based on certain criteria. Centers can earn up to a five-star rating and qualify for bonus funding. It's one way the Office for Children and Youth of the Mississippi Department of Human services promotes quality child care throughout the state.More >> Research shows drowning is the second most common cause of death in children ages one to fourteen years. The risk is greatest in children under four. So you may want to consider signing your little ones up for some formal swim lessons this summer. Meggan Gray has details about an upcoming infant and toddler swim class at the Biloxi Natatorium.More >> It's pretty common these days for both parents to have to work in order to pay the bills. And that means many parents with infants and toddlers are turning to childcare providers to look after their children during the day. But choosing a daycare can be a bit of a challenge. Here are some things the folks from Excel by five suggest you keep in mind when looking for quality childcare.More >> Local businesses can play a vital role in creating successful early childhood education. This week, the Mississippi Economic Council has been traveling to ten communities across the state, talking to business leaders about why it's so important to invest in children. They're looking for the next steps we can take to ensure our children grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn. Meggan Gray was in Gulfport for their fourth stop of the tour.More >> It's every parent's wish for their child to grow up happy, healthy and ready to learn. There are people here in South Mississippi who want to help - you may just not know where to find them. Meggan Gray found a resource and referral center that's a well-kept secret in Harrison County.More >> Starting this year, every baby born in Pascagoula can start their very own book collection. Pascagoula is now a part of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. The program sends a new book to children every month, starting when they're born until they turn five.More >> Health care professionals in south Mississippi are learning about the latest research on how to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in babies. National speaker Debra Howe will address a doctors, nurses, and pediatric staff Friday during a training workshop at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport.More >> Petal has just renewed its commitment to children. The city was the first in Mississippi to become Excel by 5 certified. What that basically means, is that they were the first to complete a list of requirements to enhance their city's early childhood education potential. That was in 2007. Since then, community leaders have made health, education, community and parental involvement priority when it comes to the lives of children from birth to age five.More >> Gulfport just launched a pilot pre-K program at Lynn Meadows Discovery center. What makes this program unique, is that any parent in Gulfport can enroll their four-year-old in the class, at no charge. It was made possible by a group of people with a passion to help our children grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn. Meggan Gray was in the classroom as kids arrived for their first day of school.More >> Excel by 5 is an initiative underway in our state right now to ensure our children have everything they need by age five to grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn. One way of doing that, is providing child care centers and parents with the tools necessary to prepare children for kindergarten.More >> It's that time of year to make your new year's resolutions. Why not make some for your little ones, as well? The most formidable years for our children are between birth and age five. Here are some things you may want to consider to help your toddler grow up happy, healthy and ready to learn in the new year.More >> It's time to bring out all the holiday decorations at home. And although it can all be very festive and pretty, holiday decorations can also pose a danger to small children.More >> Moss Point already has some great programs in place to help children from birth to age five, but it's working to offer even more. The city is in the process of becoming Excel by 5 Certified, which ultimately will help children in Moss Point grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 2.5 million children are injured or killed each year by dangers in their own home. That's why babyproofing your house is so important. More >> Becoming an Excel by 5 community means your area has formed a coalition dedicated to making sure children have everything they need to excel by the time they're five years old. So far, Mississippi has four communities that have completed an extensive checklist of requirements to become Excel by 5 certified. Biloxi wants to be next.More >> Mississippi has the highest infant mortality rate in the nation. Parents can learn how to prevent infant mortality by going to a community health fair this Saturday in Biloxi. One thing they'll learn is that raising a healthy child starts before they're even born. Meggan Gray climbs aboard the March of Dimes' Mom and Baby mobile unit, which helps bring babies into the world happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >> All parents want to see their child succeed. The key to doing that, is laying a strong foundation during their formative years. Thanks to some passionate child advocacy leaders, south Mississippi communities are doing their part to make sure children excel. It's called Excel by 5, and it's all about making sure children grow up happy, healthy, and ready to learn.More >>
Excel By 5 is an innovative early childhood community certification process focusing on a community's young children. It emphasizes the important roles parents and early childhood educators play in the lives of children during their most formative years - birth to age 5. More >> The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that mothers exclusively breast-feed their infants for the first six months of life and then continue the practice with other nutrition thereafter.More >> It's back to school time for kids in south Mississippi. Now is a great time to make sure those little ones who aren't old enough for school yet, are getting the early education they need at home.More >>
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