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The Benefits of Early Education

Local parents reveal their children's preschool experiences

March 2012

Better reading and social skills, richer vocabularies and stronger math comprehension are just some of the perks of attending Preschool as opposed to a child that has not.

Studies reveal attending pre-kindergarten can have a lasting impact on a child's success both in school and life. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), more than two-thirds of 4-year-olds and more than 40 percent of 3-year-olds were enrolled in a preschool in 2005.

Statistics show that a majority of kids attend at least one year of preschool.

Local mom Trezanay Atkins sent her 3-year-old daughter to preschool while she attended law school. She confessed that there was no way she could juggle attending school and effectively teach her daughter.

"It gave me peace of mind knowing that my working would not do a disservice to my daughter's academic preparation," Atkins said. "I believe that attending preschool built her confidence and allowed her to explore her artistic talents early."

At preschool students are exposed to perhaps the most important skill, how to socialize. For some it's an easier transition than others.

Four-year-old Corey Cobbs Jr. used to hang by himself. He was extremely shy and selfish, in spite of this, once he entered preschool his mom began to notice something different about his character. Jerricka Kennedy mother and consultant for Medicaid Intake revealed that her son turned over a new leaf. According to Kennedy he began to learn responsibility. Her son began to lessen his whining and selfish behavior due to sharing in a classroom environment.

"He first went to daycare where there wasn't any major learning, schedule or structure being taught. Later I chose to send him to preschool because he wasn't benefiting," she said. "Once he was enrolled I noticed maturity."

According to Mama's Health, a Web site that provides clear, simple, easy to understand information about health; the ages of 3 to 5 are crucial periods in a child's education and development.

Enrolling a child in a preschool program will help to lay the foundation for academics, social interaction skills, as well as build self esteem and self confidence in a child.

"Preschool helped me to see my daughter's strengths and weaknesses early," Atkins said. "It was good to see that sooner rather than later that way I could nourish her talents and deal with her weaknesses. That type of preparation sets the tone for academic success."

Kennedy agrees believing that one day her son will see the benefits of early childhood education.

"I'm very satisfied that my child attended preschool. I think he'll appreciate and continue to learn better because of his early start," she said.

• The quality of early education and care significantly influences academic and social development.

• High-quality, early childhood programs benefit disadvantaged children into adulthood.

• Children who are at risk for school failure receive the greatest benefit from the quality of preschool.

• The average quality of preschool is less than good - too low to be effective educationally.

• Many vulnerable children attend the lowest quality programs.

• Many children from middle-class families also attend preschool programs of mediocre quality.

Information provided by National Institute for Early Education Research

Tags: Education, In This Issue, Local, Preschool

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