KET Legislative Coverage

KET Documentary Explores Early Childhood Development

by John Gregory | 04/18/14 12:46 PM

In the recent budget negotiations, Kentucky legislators debated how to restore funding to the state Child Care Assistance Program and early childhood education. The impacts of those decisions may be felt for far longer than the two years of the current budget period. Experts say a safe and nurturing environment at home, in daycare, and at school are crucial during a child's early years and can affect their chances of becoming happy and healthy adults.

KET will explore the latest research on childhood brain development and examine how it's being implemented in Kentucky in the documentary special Safe and Sound: Raising Emotionally Healthy Children in a Stressful World. The program airs Monday, April 21, at 9 p.m. on KET.

Studies indicate that positive early experiences are critical for children to develop long-term mental health, while experiences of trauma or constant stress can have serious repercussions for a child's development. Those working to help Kentucky parents improve their child-rearing skills include Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS), a state-run program offered to new parents in all 120 counties. The documentary also profiles a Lexington family learning Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), which strengthens the parent/child bond through dedicated playtime supervised by a professional counselor. Other innovative initiatives in Louisville and Ashland as well as Mason and Clark Counties are presented in the program.

Watch Safe and Sound, Monday night at 9 on KET.

Bill Goodman will preview the program on this weekend's edition of One to One. He'll talk with Dr. Otto Kaak, a professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and social work at the University of Kentucky, who works with families under investigation for child abuse or negligence. That conversation airs Sunday at 1 p.m. on KET.