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National Expert in Child Care & Development Named Head of PBS Ready to Learn Service
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 27, 2001 -- Charlotte Brantley has been appointed senior director of the PBS Ready To Learn Service, the innovative early learning program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Ready To Learn integrates free and universally available children's educational programming with community outreach to help parents and caregivers prepare all children for success in school.

An award-winning expert in child care and child development, Ms. Brantley recently served as associate commissioner for child care at the Administration on Children, Youth and Families for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was responsible for the Child Care Bureau's administration of more than $4 billion in federal child care funds.

Before joining the Child Care Bureau, Ms. Brantley served as Director of Child Care and Development for the State of Texas. In this position, she oversaw dramatic changes in the state's child care system, including a ten-fold increase in the budget to $350 million annually. She received the prestigious Innovations in State and Local Government Award from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the Ford Foundation, for development and implementation of the Texas Child Care Management Services system.

Ms. Brantley, who earned an M.A. in Child Development at the University of Texas (UT), Austin, has served as a preschool teacher, summer school director and faculty member at UT and other institutions. She supervised research projects and taught courses in child development, curriculum development and parent education.

"Charlotte Brantley is exactly the high caliber professional that PBS has been seeking for this very important position," said PBS senior vice president Jinny Goldstein, who conducted a nationwide search for the position. "Her breadth and depth of experience in child development programs, and her stellar national reputation, give her the expertise and credibility needed to launch the next phase of Ready To Learn. In particular, Charlotte's child care expertise will significantly advance Ready To Learn's mission to help child care providers become better teachers. Under her stewardship, more children will gain the literacy and learning skills they need to succeed in school."

Ms. Brantley joins Ready To Learn at the start of a new five-year, $80 million cooperative agreement between PBS and the U.S. Department of Education under the Educational Research and Development Centers Program as administered by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. PBS Ready To Learn will launch new educational children's television programs, expand parent and caregiver education, broadcast educational messages to children and parents, and disseminate free books, magazines and other tools in support of literacy and other early childhood educational goals. In addition, PBS will expand online resources to extend learning for children, parents and child caregivers.

Through this joint initiative, which involves more than 130 PBS member stations, Ready To Learn will give priority focus to children from families with low literacy, children with disabilities, children whose home language is not English and children who live in rural areas.~Ready To Learn stations collaborate with community and school-based early childhood education, child care and family literacy organizations, including Head Start, Even Start and the after-school programs of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

In its first five years, more than 7.5 million children benefited from Ready To Learn programming. Two million children's books were delivered to children at risk of illiteracy. More than 560,000 parents and caregivers received Ready To Learn training through community workshops. Research by the University of Alabama found that the children of parents who received this training watched less TV and were read to more often than similar children whose parents were not trained. Ready To Learn families are also more likely to choose educational programs, watch TV together, and visit the library and bookstore more often.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 347 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at


Jan McNamara

Kevin Dando