In part one, we covered three myths that are cycling the early childhood education space including the myths that children will acclimate in kindergarten and become adjusted without it, early learning programs are too expensive, and kids are resilient and don’t need exposure to early education. In today’s post, we’ll explore more myths that are operating in this space.
There are many evidence-based articles that support early education for children and explain why and how they work. In short, early learning programs take kids at their most pliable and malleable age — an age of considerable growth and development — and use it to help them adjust and evolve as they enter the educational system. Early education, not only teaches foundational skills such as reading, writing, math, science, and technology, but it also assists them in their socioemotional skills such as cooperation, leadership, empathy, and resiliency. Early education can is even beneficial for identifying developmental delays or learning disabilities, and then addressing them accordingly.
With all the proven benefits of early learning programs, there is still a disconnect and myths are still circling this area. Follow along to read about further myths that are hurting early education.
Myth 4: The Word Gap Research Is Inconclusive
Are you familiar with what is referred to as the “word gap” in early education? It’s research that has confirmed that critical brain development occurs before a child reaches the age of three and before kindergarten. Children with a broader vocabulary often have greater social interactions with kids of the same age and with adults, and it is affected by how much parents and caregivers are talking to their children. A child’s vocabulary at the age of three directly correlates to a higher IQ and academic performance in life and a language deficit can be passed down generationally.
It’s crucial to engage with your child at home and expose them to a learning program and peers at a younger age to increase their vocabulary and set them up for success down the road.
Myth 5: Early Learning Doesn’t Benefit Young Children
There is the myth floating around that early learning is ineffective and that programs such as Head Start has no lasting effects. There is an abundance of recent research that concludes that early learning is crucial to a child’s learning and development especially if they come from disadvantaged homes or stressful home environments. Institutions that do not support early learning or Head Start programs like to claim that their benefits “fade out,” but there is a grave difference between fading out and being ineffective. If the child leaves the program or graduates and moves on to kindergarten, yes they’re no longer exposed to the program, but you can’t consider that part when measuring the effectiveness.
When children are in an early learning program, their language and literacy development dramatically increase, compared to those who were not.
Myth 6: Early Education Is an Anomaly
Some opponents of early education like to reference early education as an anomaly or that it is inconclusive. In all our myths we’ve debunked the conclusiveness of the achievement gap and the real benefits of early education, but some will still argue that the programs are too intensive and cannot be replicated on a national level. A great deal of research has been sanctioned and the studies that prove it can be replicated and that it’s not an anomaly is impressive. The National Institute for Early Learning Education (NIEER) has a wide and vast list of all the national early learning programs and what each state offers.
With little conclusive evidence from opponents of early education, skeptics really have nothing to stand on.
With all the myths about early education, we know its benefits and have seen them in person and first-hand. Early education helps develop learning and socioemotional skills and is able to target those who may have a learning disability or developmental delay — earlier, so intervention can happen sooner. We also know early learning programs are cost-effective, and though kids are resilient, early learning only assists them that much more.
Early learning closes the word gap and is not an anomaly, as there is a national database (NIEER) that follows early education programs across the nation.