Preschool: The More the Better
When it comes to early childhood education, more is better—especially for children from low-income families and children who are just learning English. These kids generally begin kindergarten behind their more advantaged peers, with weaker skills in several academic areas. Preschool has been shown to be effective at narrowing that gap; receiving preschool instruction for a longer amount of time does even more.
For example, one recent study described in a brief from the Learning Policy Institute found that children attending preschool for a full day showed better physical health, social-emotional development, and reading and math skills than children who attended the same program for only part of the day. For young children who are already at a disadvantage, this extra instruction time can help even the playing field.
The length of the school day isn’t the only thing that makes a difference. Children see benefits from attending school year-round, rather than just nine months of the year, and from attending for multiple years. Although kids do benefit from attending only one year of preschool, they do even better if they go for at least two years. In one study, children who attended two years of preschool were less likely to need special education services as they got older and less likely to commit crimes in adulthood, compared with children who attended preschool for only one year.
This month’s spotlight program, Little Ones Preschool in Stone Mountain, Georgia, offers lots of options to allow young learners to maximize their time in school. Kids can attend for a full day, year-round, and the program offers the opportunity to attend for multiple years as well. By providing these options, Little Ones is doing everything it can to make sure all its young learners—most of whom are low-income and come from refugee families—start kindergarten ready to be successful.
Consider making a donation to Little Ones Preschool as part of our Cultivating Hope campaign. We are raising $1,600 to provide the school with a music program, which will help the young students further develop their language skills and be even better prepared for kindergarten. Help us meet our goal!