The early years — before they turn eight years old — are crucial for kids, as it is a time for major growth, development, and exploration into who they will become. Many replicated and evidence-based studies have found strong data that early learning programs result in fewer adults in prison later in life. Early childhood learning sets a course for children to learn to read by third grade and children who don’t reach this milestone within the timeframe are more likely to drop out before graduating high school. To further the point, sixty percent of all high school dropouts will spend time, at some point, incarcerated.
There are many other facets to explore the case of early learning — whether it be toddler education or preschool learning — but today we’ll focus on common myths that keep kids from being enrolled.
Myth 1: My Child Will Enter Kindergarten and Acclimate Anyway
While kindergarten is the inception and their first exposure to the public school system for kids, many other countries invest into early learning for their children. It is a common standard for parents and caregivers to enroll their children in early childhood education for the purposes of preparing and acclimating kids to a structured learning environment. Below are where US children rank in early learning programs:
- 24th in preschool learning for three-year-olds.
- 26th in preschool learning for four-year-olds.
- 22nd in the average age children start an early education program.
- 21st in the total investment made for early learning compared to the overall wealth.
Because early childhood education is a work-in-progress in the US, with many efforts being made, it is important for parents and caregivers to take the initiative and enroll their little ones. Not only does this help develop skills, it also hones in on the areas where the child may need additional help. Early learning will affect a child’s school readiness and help them contribute to a strong global economy down the road!
Myth 2: Early Learning Programs are Too Expensive
Many people will make the argument that early learning programs are just too expensive. And, even if they are effective, a struggling state and the federal government still cannot cover the costs. When early learning is considered a long-term investment, it actually is more advantageous for the child and the system. If early learning programs spawn a child’s successful performance in school, this keeps dropout rates lower and fewer adults incarcerated. Taxpayers pay $39 billion dollars every year towards the prison system. If we invest the money into kids, over time, it will save money and productivity in the global economy.
Myth 3: Kids Are Resilient and Don’t Need Early Learning
Kids are beautifully resilient. However, a strong case has been made that every child can benefit from early childhood education. An early learning program not only prepares a child to enter the school system, but it also guides the child through new social and emotional skills they may not be exposed to otherwise. They learn how to manage their emotions and cooperate within a group. It also helps build confidence and even stronger resilience when they experience failure or setbacks.
There are many myths about early learning programs and our hope is to help demystify them to help you make an informed decision for your child. Stay tuned for part two!
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