As the new school year approaches, many families are getting children ready for kindergarten. What children learn from birth affects how well they will do in kindergarten and in life. Research shows that about 90 percent of our brains are developed by age 5, as well are our capabilities for problem-solving, creativity and teamwork. Research also shows that children receiving quality early education are more likely to do better in school, graduate high school, attend college or job training and have higher earnings.
Today, several of Pennsylvania’s early learning programs are built on quality standards. Programs who chose to participate in programs such as Keystone STARS and Pre-K Counts align their curriculum to the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards, conduct regular child assessments and provide a better early education for young children. As a result Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Programs continue to increase quality.
Knowing that the choices families make in those first five years can impact their children for a lifetime; it is vital that families get the information and resources they need early so they can make the right choices for their family.
Recently the Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children launched a website at www.papromiseforchildren.com. The website answers questions like “how do I know if my child is ready for kindergarten?”, “can I afford quality child care?” and “how do I deal with my child’s challenging behavior?” with reliable information, activities, and links to local resources. As a Early Childhood Program Director I strongly recommend families look at the redesigned Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children website.
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Christine Ebeling, Early Childhood Education Director, Faith United Methodist Church