The need for quality early education
Decades of brain research tell us that the first five years are a critical time in development
A lot of people ask, aren’t we already pushing children with “too much, too soon”? Why should we start even earlier than kindergarten?
Times have changed
• Preschool (or “nursery school”) was once considered a place for “socializing” a child, but today it is a critical learning experience.
• The skills children learned in kindergarten two decades ago, they are now expected to already have on the first day of school.
• Child care used to be just “babysitting,” but today it is the place where most children get their preschool education.
• Preschool is increasingly focused on social-emotional skills like communication and expressing feelings, which are shown to directly correlate to a child’s success in kindergarten
• Early childhood educators have placed renewed emphasis on movement activities to develop physical skills and prevent obesity.
• Today we must ensure that child care centers and preschools are of the highest quality, and that all children have the opportunity to attend.
Critical development period
Many of the important skills that contribute to a child’s success in school and in life are developed before formal schooling begins. A quality early childhood program will guide a child’s development on all fronts.
From the earliest days of infancy up through pre-kindergarten, children need to be guided and stimulated to become caring, thinking, confident, active individuals. This means providing them with an early childhood education program that nurtures:
• Social development
• Emotional development
• Physical development
• Intellectual development
Watch the WHRO documentary Wired For Life
This half-hour video is designed to increase public understanding of how critical the first five years of life are to a child’s future success; what defines quality early education; the challenges facing parents and providers; the impact of early childhood education on economic and workforce development; and quality early education as a universal local, state and national issue that affects everyone.