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Closing the Preschool Gap: Help Your Child Reap the Benefits of Early Childhood Education

A lot of four-year-olds are taking advantage of their city’s pre-k programs to get ready for kindergarten. But do you know any children younger than 4 who are participating in a targeted pre-k?

Evidence suggests that there are long term benefits of early childhood education for children. Yet, few three-year-olds attend those programs. The benefits of early childhood education are clear. Children that have two years of pre-k are better equipped to succeed once entering school.

Preschool vs. No Preschool Statistics

Learning Gains in Math and Language

children in a preschool class

Children who go to preschool grasp concepts faster

Children who attend pre-k programs show much larger gains in the areas of math and language. Children who get two years of pre-k show more confidence in their early math and language skills. They also show significant development in language and literacy.

Some children are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Studies show early childhood education is important because children need to close learning gaps. Preschool achievement gaps follow a student from grade to grade. Math and reading abilities at the beginning of kindergarten are powerful predictors of a child’s future academic success.

The availability of pre-k is one of the strongest predictors of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores for a country. Countries that score in the top ranks have universal access to pre-k from early ages.

The USA scores somewhere in the middle, but China and Finland rank near the top. Both countries have strong early childhood education programs.

Social and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional development is at a critical point from ages two to four. Children who have access to pre-k programs for more than one year show greater awareness of emotions. They can also process those emotions.

Pre-k also gives students exposure to social situations which might not be available to them at home. They are more prepared to problem solve and negotiate social situations and issues.

Students who show these abilities will perform well in school. Students can focus and work well with peers. Students who miss this achievement fall further behind as demand increases.

Studies show that preschool helps children be able to express their emotions and needs to peers and teachers. This paves the way for critical self-advocacy. They show more control, reducing many behavior problems that interfere with academic performance.

Choosing a Pre-K

Not all childcare programs are created equal. Some programs are not intended to have a curriculum. Nor do they prepare students for a good early academic life.

Arizona preschools are well equipped to help close the achievement gap. Schools offer a state certified curriculum that help young children enter kindergarten. They prepare them to handle the challenge of learning.

preschool girl painting a rainbow

Choose the best preschool for your child’s needs

Choosing a care program is a matter of finding one that follows state guidelines for a pre-k program. Arizona has excellent pre-k options. Choose a trustworthy preschool in Phoenix so your child can reap the benefits of early childhood education.

Evidence suggests that following a diverse model of instruction also benefits children. The program should include children from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds, as well as a mix of three and four-year-olds if possible.

The Takeaway

Countries which have invested in quality pre-k programs for younger children show higher scores on math and language tests. Pre-k is a way to close the achievement gap related to poverty and lack of resources. It’s also a way for children to get a head start. If they are prepared earlier, they perform better each school year. Closing the preschool gap is critical for better academic success for all children.

Children who take part in programs starting at three years old rather than four, have further advantages in the extra year of instruction. Instead of placing your child in custodial childcare, find a program with a state-certified pre-k curriculum focused on three-year-olds. Give your child a head start in math awareness, emotional intelligence, and language skills.

What are you doing to close the preschool gap? Let us know in the comments below.

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