All too many children are entering public schools already unprepared for success. They don’t have the tools, the foundations, or the background they need in order to succeed among classmates who may have been attending private preschools from their earliest days, whose parents can afford private tutors when they are unable to learn in a traditional classroom setting, and who have had their educations enriched from well before they entered a classroom for the first time.
The Importance of Early Education
Between the ages of 0 and 5, much of the foundation of a child’s brain is built. During these critical formative years, children aren’t necessarily learning that two plus two is four or that t-h-e spells “the,” though they’re certainly able to start developing those skills along the way. Instead, they’re learning how to think: how to approach problems, how to develop skills that they don’t currently have, and most critically, how to learn.
Unfortunately, children who are living in poverty may struggle to pick up those basic life skills. In many cases, parental education in these households is not up to the same standard as that of children who grow up in affluent households. This means that in many cases, they lack the ability to give their children those critical educational skills. Parents may not have the time and energy to work with their children on basic skills, from reading to math and more. In many cases, parents may not have any idea how to begin building the scaffolding their children need in order to succeed.
Children who grow up in poor households may also have key financial limitations that make it difficult for them to keep up with their peers. They’re unable to attend field trips. Even simply going to the park or to the library may be a stretch for parents who need to make every penny count. They may also live in unstable environments that are ill-suited to the consistency and security that children need in order to learn effectively. For these children, the importance of early education to help bridge those gaps is obvious. Interventions through early childhood education programs are the best way for these students and their families to receive the tools they need in order for these children to be successful in their early educational opportunities and beyond.
The Impact of Early Education and Development
Early education and development are intrinsically linked, especially for the 11% of young children who are currently living in poverty. Children who receive early education opportunities are able to develop the foundation they need in order to succeed throughout their school days. This education helps enhance development and push children forward, building stronger brains early in their lives in order to help them throughout the educational process and even as they choose careers.
Parental attention is still critical for student success, as early child development and care received from the parent are some of the most important factors in determining how much a student is able to accomplish. In fact, the role of the parent is greater than any other influence in securing the child’s educational success. However–and this is key–targeted early childhood education has the ability to support parents who might not have the tools they need to help their children succeed. It can provide parents with materials, offer them advice, and provide an additional support to children who would otherwise struggle when they reached a traditional educational setting.
Linking the Parent and the School
The significance and benefits of early childhood education are obvious. Many parents, however, feel that government-regulated early childhood education will take away their rights as parents, forcing them to adhere to government schedules and strictures much younger in a child’s life. In reality, however, the goal of most early childhood education programs is to link parent and teacher so that they are able to work more effectively together. The teacher isn’t taking over for the parent; instead, they are providing the parent with the tools they need to help their child succeed.
Most parents don’t have a library of tools in their back pockets to provide their children with educational basics. Early childhood educators, however, know how to work with a struggling child, how to offer different styles of instruction for different learners, and how to provide children with pieces of educational tools while still making the instruction fun and interesting. It’s not about removing parental rights or responsibilities. Rather, it’s about giving parents more options, including qualified educational professionals who are able to work alongside them to build children who are better prepared for success when they enter the real world.
Why does early childhood education matter? Simply, because it is the tool that students from poorer homes need in order to succeed. Parents from affluent families will offer their children the tools they need for success, often without realizing it. They can afford to purchase educational toys, take their children on trips to public monuments and museums, and spend money on as many books as they like. For children living in poverty, however, an early childhood education helps to bridge the gap between what the parents are able to offer and what the child needs in order to succeed.
Early Education with Children Central in Yardley
Children Central Child Learning Center is dedicated to providing quality early education programs to the children of Yardley and Langhorne PA. Come check out our programs and contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you!