Researchers have touted that the future of a child’s academic success, is determined before they reach the age of eight. Before the age of eight, a child is developing so rapidly — cognitively, socially, and emotionally — so fostering early education practices is crucial in those early years. Toddler education has been honed in on by educators and politicians alike, because they know setting young children up for success now, creates and improves on social issues in the future.
What defines early education?
A proper, fluid definition varies from one institution to another, but generally they’re considered high-quality education starting from birth (infants) until the age of eight. Development techniques for infant and toddler education are expanding, but the federal government predominantly places early education initiatives on preschool or prekindergarten aged kids (three to fours years old).
While universal preschool does not currently exist, a push for programs offered to low-income families are on the rise, ensuring equal access to all demographics in toddler education.
The case for early education
The understanding that early childhood education programs are needed, is not something that is debated, it’s a fact. The gray area is often highlighted because — despite our understanding of early education urgency — these programs are not nationally mandated, so many children are underserved, because some of the programs that do exist are expensive and exclusive.
This is a time in a child’s life for accelerated development and many of the foundations — math, reading, and science skills — are being established, in addition to their interpersonal skills as well. If the child is supported during this time, we can capitalize on all the learning opportunities and help guide the child to future successes.
According to the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators, children who attend early learning programs exhibit higher levels achievement and social adjustment in school,compared to those who do not attend an early childhood education program. When a child is able to attend an early learning program, any learning difficulties or issues can be identified and mediated early on, preventing a child from being held back or early intervention in special education.
Early education also benefits society as a whole, not only in development, but also socially and economically. When early childhood education suffers, a negative cycle is created; kids aren’t graduating high school, so a higher rate of crime is sometimes an outcome, and as a result, higher prison costs. Higher subsidized health care costs have also been correlated in children without early education, claiming some health problems are rooted in early childhood experiences.
Who benefits from early learning programs?
The demographics who benefit the most are low-income and middle class kids from disadvantaged communities. The reality is, while both groups struggle financially to pay for these programs, the low-income group can take advantage of government-supported programs, while the middle class doesn’t qualify.
The encouraging news is there are so many affordable programs that are starting to surface around the US because communities are starting to realize that early education is only advantageous to both the children and the community alike.
For the best early learning, contact us at ABC Early Learning Academy today!