Ivanka Trump, state leaders, and Mississippi parents talk early childhood development

First daughter and presidential advisor Ivanka Trump leads roundtable discussion in Gulfport
Ivanka Trump discusses advances in earl childhood education
Ivanka Trump discusses advances in earl childhood education
Updated: Oct. 25, 2018 at 8:10 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - With a focus on early childhood development and its impact on the labor force, Ivanka Trump sat down with leaders in Mississippi to discuss how far we’re come, and where more can be done.

"This is the last stop on Dr. Green's nationwide road show to advance high quality and affordable child care and to discuss what's happening on a state level," Trump said.

Trump joined a panel of experts at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport to talk about the needs of families in Mississippi and across the nation.

“Really these are the laboratories of innovation across our country, and there is so much that we can learn from the people around this table,” she said.

Prior to the panel discussion, Trump met with some South Mississippi families. Victoria Pickard wanted to be part of the event because, as a mother, she’s seen firsthand what works and what more needs to be done.

“It was really interesting, her coming out here to Gulfport, Mississippi, of all places and being a part of our educational development out here,” Pickard said. “I thought it was a really neat experience.”

Pickard has one child who benefited from the programs at Lynn Meadows.

“Lynn Meadows is an organization that we’ve been a part of before,” she said. “My child’s a little bit older now, but we still come out. We’re part of Wings, the theatre.”

Trump thinks the prospect of employers agreeing to create family programs is a great step in the right direction.

“What’s also happening is private sector stepping up, and recognizing in this tight labor market they need to do more, and do better to incentivize employees to join their firms and to attain those employees,” Trump said.

Mississippi Power CEO Anthony Wilson agrees with that point and said Mississippi Power is working to make the workplace a more family-friendly environment.

“Where you have the opportunity to create child care within a business, that’s some of the things that you can do,” Wilson said. “You can alter work hours, you can alter work schedules, you can come up with creative scheduling for employees. All of these things create opportunities to broaden your base of hours that people can work and work from home and meet some of their personal needs as well.”

Pickard sees the progress being made in Mississippi but believes more can be done.

“I feel like we should have more family attractions that allow for parents to get involved with their kids,” Pickard said. “We’re homeschooling for the first time this year, and I’m learning of more things that are available to our community, but it’s not like I have to dig for it.”

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.