The first eight years of your child’s life are critical to academic success. So you might think that early education programs are a priority in the United States. But that just isn’t the case. Lucky for you, private daycares and preschools around the country and in Sugar Land take up the slack and offer infants and toddlers a nurturing approach to learning so that they develop without restriction.

To understand why childhood education is so important we need to learn more about it. Here are a few thoughts on the issue of childhood education.

Defining Early Childhood Education

The National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest advocacy organization that devotes resources and time to early childhood learning. They define early childhood learning as high-quality programs that are geared towards children from birth to age eight.

We have seen in recent years many colleges expanding their early-education programs to include learning techniques for infants and toddlers. While this is a step in the right direction, our government along with many states still only focus early-education initiates on children who are preschool age and older.

As you may already know, our government-run education system does not support universal preschool, so the burden of paying to place children in preschool falls on the families. And while some elected officials push for funding for early childhood education, we still have a long way to go before this is a reality.

Why is Early Childhood Education So Important?

There has been plenty of research that shows much of what you need to be successful in life is established before you step foot into a kindergarten class. From when you are born until you reach the third grade, your brain undergoes a rapid development, this is a period in which cognitive skills, the foundation for math, reading, science and academics, are formed and build. During this same critical time period, character skills, social-emotional growth and gross motor skills are also growing exponentially.

Basically, the first five years of a child’s life is marked by an explosion of activity, more profound than any future years. It is critical that we capitalize on this period of children’s lives and support learning opportunities. In doing so, we stand a really good chance of changing the lives of young children.

Sending your children to a preschool in Sugar Land will give them a head start towards a bright future, and there are the reasons why:

Learning and Development

The capacity of your child’s brain to soak up new information peaks at about the age of three. This means this is the period of time when a child has the highest potential for learning new things.

When your child is attending a preschool or daycare center that offers educational programs, they will improve in motor skills, language and learn the cognitive skills necessary to succeed and excel in primary school.

Economic Benefits

Your children aren’t the only ones who will benefit from a quality early childhood education. Schools of this type have economic values as well. Studies show that low-income families who have children who attend these types of preschools grow up to better things. For example, many children will go further in their education because of the start they got in preschool. Studies also show that these children had higher incomes and better health insurance coverage than those who didn’t attend a quality preschool. Children who attend quality daycare centers that offer education are also less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

Health Benefits

Attending a quality early childhood program may be a benefit to the health of your child as well. Studies have shown that the care provided in quality daycares positively influence a child’s development. If your child attends an early childhood education program, there will be less of a chance they will need mental health care or behavioral care in primary school.

We often hear about the school-to-prison pipeline as it relates to the dropout rates of high school students. Research shows that nearly 60 percent of all high school dropouts will spend some time in prison at some point in their lives. In fact, nearly 70 percent of males in prison don’t have a high school diploma.

But what does this have to do with early childhood education?

Studies show that when you enroll your children in a quality daycare with early childhood learning, the result will be a better reading level by the time they are in third grade. Children who aren’t at the proper reading level in this timeframe are much more likely to drop out of school before graduating.

It is such a shame that more money is allocated to prisons each year in comparison with money spent to educate our children before primary school.

Socialization

As parents, most of us understand the importance of introducing our children to others for support and transition into groups of friends. But what many parents don’t realize is that socialization should take place at a very early age.

The earlier children begin to socialize, the better off they are as this helps them overcome shyness and helps them gain self-confidence. If socialization doesn’t happen until primary school, it may hinder their social development.

Learning how to cooperate, share and take turns within a safe learning environment is in the best interest of any child. This is especially critical with the first child if they don’t have siblings that have to share things with. It is crucial they learn how to share early in life.

Children in preschool learn the value of respect for others. This is not limited to belongings or people, but they learn to respect the environment both immediate and global. They also learn the importance of teamwork and cooperation and even how to listen to others and equality.

Reasons You Can’t Ignore Early Childhood Education

Conversation concerning early childhood education and whether or not it is important has been spreading for a long time. However, studies continue to come out that shed light on the huge discrepancy between students who enjoyed an early childhood education and those who did not.

While there have always been advocates who have long promoted the importance of early childhood education, there are still skeptics who doubt the impact. For those who have their doubts, here are a few compelling cases for the benefits of early childhood education.

Word Gap

Research conducted in 1995 confirmed what many early childhood education advocates have long believed: Much of the most critical brain development in children takes place before they are even in kindergarten.

The study showed us that children from the poorest families learned about 30 million fewer words than children from affluent families by the age of three. Over the course of four years, the average child in a professional family would accumulate experience with nearly 45 million words, while an average child from a working-class family will accumulate only about 26 million.

These numbers reflect how much parents talk to their children. If you are affluent, you spend less time working and more time with your children whereas if you are working-class, you spend more time away from your children.

From School to Prison

You may have heard about the school-to-prison pipeline and how it directly relates to the dropout rates. The fact is that almost 60 percent of all high school dropouts will spend at least some time in prison at some point in their lives. Nearly 70 percent of males who are currently in prison have one thing in common; they do not have a high school diploma.

This has economic implications that go far beyond those who are in jail. Each individual who is serving time in prison is costing taxpayers almost $80 a day or nearly $30,000 a year.

You might be wondering what this has to do with early childhood education.

Studies show us that more children who go to early childhood education programs are more likely to graduate high school and therefore less likely to wind up in prison.

Early childhood education sets children up so they are reading at level by the 3rd grade. Students who are not reading at their grade level are far more likely to drop out.

United States Trails

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the United States isn’t first when it comes to a few things, especially in early childhood education. Out of the 38 countries included in the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States trailed badly in preschool participation for three and four-year-olds, when children begin early childhood programs and total investment in early childhood programs relative to the country’s wealth.

Investing in your child’s future begins when you enroll them in a preschool that emphasizes learning. As you can see, early childhood education is instrumental in childhood development.