At Smart E. Pants Academy, we’re firm believers in the importance of early childhood education. After all, learning begins at birth, and some research even shows it can happen in the womb. We know that a solid foundation is critical to achieving success in school, but we must also consider how the early stages of life can affect our now-students as adults.
In a new report, Katharine B. Stevens explores the long-term implications of poor early childhood education. While proper schooling is essential, Stevens’ research proves that the most crucial learning takes place years before kids even enter the classroom.
Case in point: research found that the developmental gap between higher- and lower-income children can be seen as early as nine months old. The disparity only grows as the child does, and by 18 months, lower-income toddlers can be up to a few months behind higher-income toddlers. As this snowballs during the kids’ early years, those at a disadvantage end up unprepared when it’s time to start school.
Without that solid foundation, the child is less likely to succeed in elementary school; and without a strong early education, secondary school success is affected; and so on.
It’s important for parents and caretakers to realize they are responsible for nurturing babies’ minds as they grow. “Childcare is early education, regardless of the building it occurs in or what we call it,” Stevens says. “The question is only whether it’s advancing or impeding children’s learning.”
Take advantage of the resources below to help your child get ahead of the curve and stay there for the long term.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has actually given doctors evidence to advise parents to read aloud to babies from birth. Read more on our blog.
- A child’s brain goes through incredible development from birth to age three. Take a look at the key ways caregivers can nurture those neural connections. (Zero to Three)
- Take a look at the way serve-and-return interactions between a baby and an adult affect the brain and its development of communication and social skills. (Center on the Developing Child, Harvard)
- Early childhood programs set students up for success in their futures. Find out more about our tailor-made preschool program.
Photo via AEIdeas