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‘Smart Start: A KET Special Report’ examines the importance of early childhood learning


‘Smart Start: A KET Special Report’ examines the importance of early childhood learning

For Release: 02/02/24 11:18 AM

This KET special report examines the importance of a child’s early years of development, exploring how parents and caregivers can give children a strong start to school and life.

Host Renee Shaw is joined by a panel of childhood development experts who discuss ways parents and caregivers can support children in their early years and how the Commonwealth and local communities can help address the state’s shortage of workers in the early childhood development field. The program also features stories from across Kentucky examining how organizations are using innovative programs to enrich early learning experiences for children.

Guests appearing on the program include:

• Whitney Stevenson, Ph.D., director of early childhood, Fayette County Public Schools
• Jennifer Porter, M.D., Louisville pediatrician
• Ashley Brandt, director of early care and education, Metro United Way
• Sarah Vanover, Ed.D., policy and research director, Kentucky Youth Advocates
• Mike Hammons, vice president of advocacy, Learning Grove
• Kate Shanks, senior vice president of public affairs, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
• Donna Grigsby, M.D., chief of Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Kentucky Children’s Hospital
• Vaughn Nebbitt, vice president of early childhood services, Family & Children’s Place
• Linda Smith, director of early childhood initiative, Bipartisan Policy Center

The program is funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Smart Start: A KET Special Report
KET Monday, Feb. 19 • 9/8 pm
Stream at and the PBS App

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, where learning comes to life for more than two million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization at, on Twitter @KET and at


Elizabeth Greenfield
Director of Marketing and Communications