Quality Pre-K: Starting Early to Close Achievement Gaps and Boost Student Achievement
You could probably guess that attending a quality pre-K program results in better kindergarten readiness with improved vocabulary and skills. But, research also shows that young children’s earliest learning experiences can have powerful long-term effects ontheir lives. Investing in quality pre-K programs yields a long list of benefits that go beyond test scores. Early learning impacts everything from cognitive and emotional growth to social achievement and adult life outcomes. Cognitive growth includes sensory and motor interactions with the world, as well as verbal skills.
Access to quality pre-K programs are an important part of helping youngsters get ready for school and a bright future beyond. Unfortunately, research shows that many American preschoolers do not have access to high-quality, early learning experiences. Only 40% of 4-year-olds and less than 15 % of 3-year-olds are served by quality pre-K programs across the country.
KEY AREAS OF WORK
- High-quality pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, prioritizing under-served communities first
- Full-day kindergarten
- Clear expectations and communication between pre-K classrooms and kindergarten classrooms
- Leadership that prioritizes quality instruction for all children in the early years and makes sure pre-K programs have the resources they need to be effective for kids
- Create family-friendly spaces, so families are engaged and welcomed
WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS
- We know that quality pre-K makes a positive difference in a child’s ability to be successful in kindergarten and later in life.
- Research has found that students who participate in quality pre-K opportunities: have improved learning, increase their educational success (more likely to graduate high school), have higher income as adults, produce long-term reductions in unemployment, crime, and out-of-wedlock childbearing
- Access to quality pre-K opportunities is good for our communities and country.
- Pre-K benefits all children but has even greater impact on disadvantaged children and children of color.
- Pre-K can help narrow achievement gaps while boosting learning for all students.