Why it’s important for children –

Kindergarten is much more than playing! Preschool or preschool education programs promote exploration and discovery through a play-based curriculum.

PINELLAS COUNTY – Have you heard the saying “kids are like sponges?” It’s true! Children are born learning and absorbing the world around them. Recognizing that 90% of brain development occurs before a child begins kindergarten, early experiences are critical to their success. The foundation built in the first five years of a child’s life can set them on the path to success.

Research shows that early education leads to better outcomes in school and in life. Children who attend high-quality preschool programs are more likely to read academically, graduate, and succeed in their careers. Early learning programs in preschools and family daycares can help parents prepare their children for kindergarten and beyond.

We caught up with Lindsay Carson, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County (ELC Pinellas), to learn more about early education and its impact on black children.

Why should families consider early learning programs for their children?

A child’s brain develops most rapidly during the first five years of life, making this a critical time for learning and development. When you wait for kindergarten, it may be too late!

Enrolling children in early learning programs lays the foundation for kindergarten readiness. Children who receive quality early education (0-5 years) demonstrate greater cognitive and socio-emotional growth than children who do not. This helps them develop the academic, social, and study skills needed to do well in school and in life.

Families want their children to have every opportunity to succeed. It has been proven that children who receive a quality preschool education are better prepared to succeed in school. Early learning programs, like VPK, can bridge the opportunity gap that leads to achievement gaps later. This means they are more likely to graduate, earn higher salaries, live healthier lives, raise stronger families, and have a better quality of life.

Some parents may think preschool is all about fun and games, or some may say “babysitting.” What do children really learn?

Kindergarten is much more than playing! Preschool or preschool programs promote exploration and discovery through a play-based curriculum. Although the primary educational benefits of preschool (such as literacy and numeracy) are tangible, the progress children make to become well-rounded individuals are truly invaluable. Among other things, children develop attentiveness, persistence, impulse control and social skills.

Children participate in hands-on, interactive experiences that develop curiosity and creativity. Plus, songs, games, stories, and conversations help develop a child’s language and reading skills, including vocabulary, storytelling, rhyme, and comprehension. These developmentally appropriate activities allow children to learn and grow naturally. The excitement of discovery is built on a love of learning and research.

How does ELC Pinellas help families?

At ELC Pinellas, we are committed to helping all families access quality early learning opportunities through our School Readiness (SR), Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK), and Resource and Guidance programs. for childcare (CCR&R). We strive to ensure that families in Pinellas County are supported and that their children have access to the resources they need to be ready to enter kindergarten and thrive. If you have any questions, please call 727-400-4411 or chat with a representative online at ELCPinellas.org.

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