“School Readiness is the Building Block”
School readiness is a measurement we will use to measure our work, but that doesn’t mean we only focus on 4 and 5 year olds. We must focus on prenatal and birth to three to make the biggest impact. The good news is that we know how to dramatically boost our children’s chances for success. Neuroscientists have found early experiences – particularly from birth to age five – shape whether their brains develop a strong foundation for the learning and behavior that follow.
* Advances in brain research tell us that by the age of 5, more than 90 percent of the architecture of the brain is already in place. * Proven programs such as voluntary home visiting maximize early childhood health and development during the critical first three years of life. * Children in a longitudinal study who had attended preschool were less likely to drop out of high school, be placed in special education and held back a grade, and they scored better on reading and math achievement tests. * Early childhood education saves government spending on K-12 education, public assistance and the criminal justice system, and increases tax revenues as a result of higher earnings. * The U.S. Department of Labor projects that 70 percent of the 30 fastest growing jobs nationally will require education beyond high school. In a globally competitive workplace we can no longer allow our children to enter school unprepared to learn and succeed. * Early care and education is a major industry in its own right. At a time when job creation is a top priority, it provides tens of thousands of jobs in communities.
These reasons and many more give us good evidence that investing in the early years is a top priority. It is imperative we consider the importance of early childhood investment now. For more information, please visit the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood web site. We hope you will share the importance of school readiness with your contacts. Additionally, please feel free to connect with our office for distribution ideas and activities.